All posts tagged: shoplifters

Labour blames ‘shoplifters’ charter’ for surge in retail crime | UK News

Labour blames ‘shoplifters’ charter’ for surge in retail crime | UK News

[ad_1] A “shoplifters’ charter” has seen thefts rise significantly – to about one offence every minute – but police are charging fewer people, according to Labour. The party said data showed a record 402,482 shoplifting offences in England and Wales in the year to September 2023. However, offences resulting in a police charge fell from 20% to 15% between 2018 and 2023, according to a Freedom of Information request. Labour said offenders were getting off “scot-free” as the fall had not been matched by a rise in other penalties. More than 54% of shoplifting offences are also dropped with no suspect identified, according to recent Home Office figures. Labour partly blamed the situation on a 2014 move to introduce a “low value” shoplifting category for items worth under £200 in total. Theresa May, then home secretary, brought it in to speed things up and allow police to deal with these offences by post. But Labour and others, such as the British Retail Consortium, said it meant officers have deprioritised shoplifting. The rise in shoplifting and …

Olive oil becomes most wanted item for shoplifters in Spain | Europe

Olive oil becomes most wanted item for shoplifters in Spain | Europe

[ad_1] Olive oil has become the most stolen product in supermarkets across Spain, with organised criminal gangs targeting the “liquid gold” to resell on the hidden market, according to new figures. Olive oil is now the most shoplifted product in regions that account for 70% of the country’s population, the Financial Times reports. Supermarkets have begun chaining together large five-litre bottles of olive oil and padlocking them to shelves to prevent theft, while other stores are fitting the bottles with security tags that have to be removed by staff. Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, but Europe has almost run out of local supplies after extreme weather damaged the harvests for a second year. Global production is expected to fall to 2.4m tonnes, according to the International Olive Council, less than last year’s harvest and well short of global demand of about 3m tonnes. With shortages happening across the Mediterranean, similar thefts of olive oil are occurring in Greece. In Spain, prices have more than quadrupled in the past four years. Shoppers …

Rite Aid banned from using facial recognition software after falsely identifying shoplifters

Rite Aid banned from using facial recognition software after falsely identifying shoplifters

[ad_1] Rite Aid has been banned from using facial recognition software for five years, after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that the U.S. drugstore giant’s “reckless use of facial surveillance systems” left customers humiliated and put their “sensitive information at risk.” The FTC’s Order, which is subject to approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court after Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, also instructs Rite Aid to delete any images it collected as part of its facial recognition system rollout, as well as any products that were built from those images. The company must also implement a robust data security program to safeguard any personal data it collects. A Reuters report from 2020 detailed how the drugstore chain had secretly introduced facial recognition systems across some 200 U.S. stores over an eight-year period starting in 2012, with “largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods” serving as the technology testbed. With the FTC’s increasing focus on the misuse of biometric surveillance, Rite Aid fell firmly in the government agency’s crosshairs. Among its allegations are that Rite …

Why imprisoning repeat shoplifters rarely breaks the cycle of offending – and what may work better

Why imprisoning repeat shoplifters rarely breaks the cycle of offending – and what may work better

[ad_1] The UK government is taking a harsher approach to tackle criminal activity which is blighting local neighbourhoods. And recently, government ministers have been talking tough about repeat shoplifting, including the possibility of introducing new laws which would see prolific shoplifters imprisoned. This has all been against a backdrop of concern about a rise in shoplifting across the UK. But there are some serious practical problems with any such measures and questions remain over whether such a policy could break the cycle of offending. Meanwhile, there is an innovative approach to this issue which may be a better way of dealing with crimes such as shoplifting called “intergrated offender management” (IOM). Rolled out over the past few years, IOM is a novel criminal justice approach that is designed to break the cycle of re-offending. It is operated by 39 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales. IOM involves police officers working closely with prison and probation services and criminal justice intervention teams. These are support staff who provide both clinical and therapeutic interventions …

Shoplifters who commit repeat offences to face prison | Crime

[ad_1] Shoplifters, burglars and violent criminals who commit repeat offences will be handed mandatory prison sentences under plans being drawn up by ministers. The government plans to force judges to impose jail terms when sentencing repeat offenders for shoplifting, burglary, theft and common assault, using new legislation to be included in the crime and justice bill. Currently, these offences do not necessarily result in a prison sentence, the way that two convictions for knife crime automatically do. The number of offences required for a prison sentence would vary according to the type of crime, according to the Times. A government source told the newspaper the trigger for a custodial sentence for repeat shoplifting would likely be between 10 and 20 instances as it is a lower-level offence than knife crime, for example, although planning for the legislation is still in its early stages. Lower thresholds are reportedly being considered for burglary, theft and common assault. The government is also in favour of police and retailers making greater use of facial recognition technology. On Sunday, the …

Has Britain become a country of shoplifters? – podcast | News

[ad_1] It could be laundry tablets, lipstick or even baby milk. According to shopkeepers in the UK the number of thefts is rising. The British Retail Consortium said there were 8m instances of theft from shops last year, which cost businesses nearly £1bn. The Office for National Statistics reports a 22% rise. For shop assistants and managers it is a daily struggle, which can be costly and infuriating – but what’s behind it? The Guardian’s North of England editor, Helen Pidd, spoke to shopkeepers on one Manchester street to see how they were coping, and spent the day in a magistrates court to find out what happens when a shoplifter is caught. She explains how organised crime may be a factor behind the rise. Jamie Barnes from Fresh Start, a charity run by ex-offenders, tells Nosheen Iqbal more about what motivates shoplifters and what part the cost of living crisis is playing. While retail workers in London explain why they are at their wits’ end. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian Support The Guardian The Guardian is …

I’m burnt out from dealing with shoplifters in our London store | Crime

[ad_1] Re your article on shoplifting (‘One guy uses us like a larder’: the British shoplifting crisis – as seen from the tills, 1 June), I work at a supermarket chain in one of London’s richest boroughs. I’ve seen a massive increase in shoplifting and theft that I would describe as “to order”. We are seeing individuals coming into the store with large bags and filling them up with high-value items such as meat, alcohol, baby milk, beauty products – and leaving without paying. I would say a large amount of this theft is from people who are going to sell the items on. They know that there is a likelihood they are going to get stopped by staff or by our security, but many times they get away and they know that there is little we can do. The few times that the police have got involved is because an individual has used racial or homophobic abuse towards staff. Police involvement doesn’t deter individuals. A man once shouted homophobic abuse at me. I’m currently …