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Is the retail industry entering a pandemic of shoplifting?

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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UK shoplifting is on the rise Credits: Pexels

Retail sales in September declined by 0.9 percent, while shoplifting incidents surged, with reported offenses spiking by 25 percent in the past year, totaling eight million incidents.

The British Retail Consortium reported losses amounting to 1 billion pounds due to this trend. Over the year leading to June, the police recorded 365,164 shoplifting offenses, marking a 25 percent increase.

However, only one in eight shoplifters were caught and charged, and the police have been criticized for potentially decriminalizing shoplifting due to legislation introduced in 2014, reported The Times.

This legal change advises closing cases with fines for thefts under 200 pounds, according to the government’s Shoplifting Charter, making it an attractive option for organized crime groups and frequent offenders.

The present economic climate has led retailers to cut costs, which sometimes means reducing security and staffing, making it easier for shoplifters to go unnoticed. Additionally, organized retail crime is targeting specific high-value items such as electronics and designer clothing.

The perception of shoplifting as a low-risk crime, with few consequences for perpetrators, has contributed to the problem.

retail crime