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Shoppers are likely to see an increased security presence in the coming weeks and months as stores ramp up efforts to prevent shoplifting. The cost of living is driving a shoplifting free for all which is seeing ‘desperate people, take desperate measures.’

Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed there has been a 21% increase in shoplifting in the 12 months to Mach 2022. With the cost of living increasing significantly since then it is expected shoplifting offences will continue to rise. In response stores are likely to increase the amount of security staff and security tagging as a deterrent.

Policing advice in relation to shoplifting has been inconsistent. In May, Chief Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke told officers to treat shoppers with “discretion” when deciding whether to prosecute. However then Policing Minister Kit Malthouse contradicted this, by saying in an LBC interview that “police should not be ignoring these small crimes.”

Besides an increase in the number of security officers seen in stores, shoppers are also likely to see security tags fitted to items which are most frequently stolen.  

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