A SHOP owner said Covid is causing a rise in shoplifting offences and a surge in fly tipping in her store since lockdown began.

Esso Basingstoke is a convenient store, and fuelling station, that is owned by Londis, and located on Churchwill Way West.

Shop owner, Shami Warren, in her 40s, from Portsmouth, spoke exclusively to the Gazette about the “rocket high” incidents of shoplifting at her store and the “frustrating” moment two individuals dumped a Lidl trolley in her backyard.

Speaking about the high number of shoplifting incidents, Shami said: “Since the beginning of lockdown, shoplifting offences in my store is unbelievable.

“This is the worst it’s been for me during lockdown because people don’t want to queue up and they think they can come in with their masks on and take whatever they want.

“We are suffering because we cannot identify thieves.

“We have had five or six incidents in June alone and already two incidents this week.

“Throughout lockdown, we have seen 10 shoplifting offences.

“I have had no choice but to install a CCTV camera at the back of the shop, and it cost £900.

“It is hard to identify the individual on CCTV and we have no rights to check people as we don’t have a security licence.”

Shami explained her “protocol” for dealing with suspicious people in her Esso store is rewinding CCTV to find the individual in question and uploading a picture of the person to the police.

She also said that fly tipping has got “much worse” since the start of lockdown.

Two individuals were spotted on CCTV ditching a Lidl trolley in the back of the shop on Monday, July 6, at 6.45pm.

“After 7pm, it is quiet in the store and people come to get their fuel or shop but afterwards, around 11pm, people dump their waste, including bicycle parts, at the back.

“We have four wheelie bins to recycle normal rubbish, but people think its ok to just dump random items out back.

“It’s really frustrating because we have to get rid of it," the shop owner said.

Shami has posted on social media to raise awareness in the hope that fly tipping will stop happening.