A BOLTON MP has put his name behind a Parliamentary motion aimed at curbing increasing levels of shoplifting across the UK.

Sir David Crausby was one of 19 MPs to back the Early Days Motion citing research from think tank The Centre for Social Justice, which indicates 38 million incidents of shop theft last year.

The Bolton North East MP said the government must focus on the root cause of these problems, pointing to issues like substance abuse, which could push people towards theft.

He said: “We all want our town and city centres to be safe community spaces that we can enjoy but when we hear about theft or violence that undermines our feeling of safety.

“It leaves people feeling nervous or even scared to go into town and takes away an important shared space.

“Of course it’s bad for business. Not just in money or stock lost in the theft itself but in the customers pushed away.

“When the retail sector is already facing such big challenges theft can have a huge impact on a shop’s chances of survival.

“It’s bad for shop workers who find themselves at risk of threats and violence in the workplace. This is something that nobody should have to face.”

The motion aims to draw interest to the subject and potentially start an official debate in Parliament.

It cites costs to retailers of £6.3 billion, in 2017, and asks the government to publish its review of the use of out of court disposals, which was started in 2014.

It also asks MPs to recognise “the need for businesses, communities and police forces to collaborate more closely to encourage better reporting and response to shop theft.”