Shoplifting soars due to the recession

Retailers have reported a dramatic surge in UK shoplifting during the recession

The recession has affected us all in one way or another, but for some, cutting back on spending just isn’t enough. According to a new study, shoplifting has jumped by a third between 2008 and 2009 in the UK, fuelled by the credit crunch.

The latest crime survey carried out by the trade body, The British Retail Consortium, found that there were almost half a million thefts – the equivalent of one a minute – and is costing their industry a shocking £1.1billion.

Possibly even more alarming, the survey of 60 major stores also shows a sharp increase in violence and verbal abuse by customers. At least 22,000 staff at nationwide say they have been targeted by shoppers.

Stephen Robertson, of the BRC, is concerned that police and others in the criminal justice system do not take shop crime seriously enough.

‘It’s shocking that a shop theft happens almost every minute, 24 hours a day,’ he says. ‘The police and criminal justice system must take theft more seriously.

Shoplifting is never a victimless crime or acceptable. The cash costs are met by honest customers who end up paying more, and the human costs by shop staff who intervene.’

If you have been personally affected by shoplifting, or feel strongly about this rising trend, Marie Claire would like to hear from you by posting your comment below.

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