UK Shoplifting Jumps 25% Over Past Year

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Oct 20, 2023 - 06:45 AM

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.

In the first six months of 2023, some 6.7 million crimes were reported in England and Wales, vs. 6.5 million the previous year, and 6.1 million in 2019/2020. According to the ONS, this likely reflects factors such as better recording of crimes by the police, better reporting by victims, and new types of offenses (?).

They did acknowledge, however, that there had been "genuine increases in some types of crime."

According to the report, the latest increase is largely due to a rise in shoplifting as well as a spike in fraud against businesses - most of which is being reported due to action by industry bodies.

Homicides fell 10% to 602 vs. 667 the previous year, however robberies were up 11% to 77,337 vs. the previous year. They're still 14% lower than before the pandemic.

Knife crimes rose 3% to 50,833, but were similarly lower than pre-pandemic levels.

While Greater Manchester saw a drop of 16% and the West Midlands 5%, the Met saw a rise of 21%, although still below pre-pandemic levels.

Knife possession offences were also up across England and Wales, rising by 10% to 28,211 in the year to June, although the ONS said the increase could be due to police crackdowns.

Firearms offences (excluding Devon and Cornwall) rose by 13%, to a similar level before the pandemic, with the biggest rise for imitation firearms, which went up 26% to 2,566 from 2,031 offences. -Sky

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