Risky high streets? Developing a shop theft risk index at the high street level in Nottingham


  • James Hunter


shop theft, spatial concentration of crime, risk terrain modelling, victimisation risk


Whilst there is an extensive literature on the spatial concentration of crime at the street level, and the role played by crime attractors and generators in shaping victimisation risk, there has been little application of these perspectives in relation to shop theft.  This paper therefore seeks to address the gap within the current retail crime literature in two ways.  Firstly, it presents an empirical analysis of the spatial concentration of police recorded shop theft incidents across high street locations within Nottingham.  Secondly, having established the uneven distribution of shop theft victimisation across retail spaces within the city, it then develops an innovative shop theft risk index that captures the materialised risk-profile (based upon the level of shop theft incidents), and the potential risk profile (based upon the number of retailers selling products that are attractive to would be shop theft offenders) of each high street location.  The ensuing empirical analysis identifies the presence of different shop theft high street environments:  ‘over-performing’ locations where the extent of shop theft is lower than might be anticipated given their risky retailer – and ‘under-performing’ high streets which are enduring disproportionally high levels of shop theft victimisation given their retail make-up.