A High Wycombe shop has found an unusual way to deter shoplifters – by dangling a fake severed head from its ceiling.

As previously reported, incidents of shop thefts have more than doubled in the past three years, costing retailers £953million a year, according to the British Retail Consortium.

And locally, shop owners and managers have spoken out about their battles with keeping their stores safe due to the rise in crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber visited High Wycombe last month as he pledged to get tough on shoplifters.

And now one local business has found its own Halloween-inspired way of putting people off stealing.

In a model toy shop, a pale pretend head, gruesomely cut at the neck, hangs by the hair attached to the ceiling.

Attached is a sigh reading: “Beware! Ex-shoplifter!”

Sharing an image, Mr Barber wrote: “Spotted in High Wycombe.”

Describing the measure in hashtags as ‘crime prevention’.

Not all approved of the deterrent though. Councillor Jon Harvey said he didn’t think it was appropriate.

He wrote: “That’s really not appropriate - especially in an area where small children and present and especially in the current conflict in the Middle East.”