The UK has experienced a 25% spike in shoplifting across England and Wales over the past year, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday.
The data comes after major retailers have warned over the rising costs associated with theft from their stores.
In the first six months of this year, for example, the Co-op said they’ve lost £33m as shoplifting cases surge.
Some 365,164 shoplifting offences were recorded by police in the year to June – up 25% on the previous 12 months.
The figure is 2% above the 359,236 offences in the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20, but not as high as the 375,350 offences in 2018/19.
ONS data shows total police-recorded theft rose by 10% in the year to June 2023, which is still below pre-pandemic levels.
The government has come under increasing pressure to tackle the rise in shoplifting, which has been blamed on the cost of living crisis and organised crime. -Sky
To combat crime (and usher in an even more Orwellian police state?) the Metropolitan Police have rolled out more facial recognition technology to (so they say) target London’s most prolific offenders.