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Shoplifting Surge Pushes Retail Crime Losses To £511M

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25807360

A surge in shoplifting pushed retail crime losses to £511m ($840m) in 2012-13, the British Retail Consortium said.

The average value of in-store theft rose 62% to £177, according to the BRC's latest retail crime survey.

Losses were 166% higher than five years ago, the BRC said, despite retailers spending an average of £2m each on crime prevention measures.

Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said UK retailers were "fighting a rising tide of theft in store".

"Far from being victimless, we all pay for this increased stealing through higher prices and, increasingly, shop closures and damage to town centres," she said, "as safety is reduced and communities are blighted."

Well we are in a recovery.

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"Far from being victimless, we all pay for this increased stealing through higher prices and, increasingly, shop closures and damage to town centres," she said, "as safety is reduced and communities are blighted."

Then it has almost exactly the same effect as all the record debt, bank fraud, money printing and inflation etc.

Mind you how the implied "shoplifter" in the photo at the top of the article got away with so much stuff is a real puzzle seeing as there often seems to be more security than shoppers these days. That plus all the CCTV cameras etc.

Edited by billybong

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From the viewpoint of neo liberal economics these people are simply using their natural abilities and talents to maximize their personal gains.

And lets not overlook the fact that the stores could employ more people to oversee their stock but make a trade off between low staff levels and exposure to theft.

Of course there's the moral argument that using guile and cunning to take that which does not belong to you is morally wrong- but if we go down that road we will have to depopulate the City of London and fill the prisons with bankers - and lay waste to the national economy.

In the face of a rigged Libor, FX and now Precious metals market- plus the myriad of other less obvious scams like insider trading and mis-selling ect ect- not to mention our friends at HSBC laundering drug money for Mexican cartels and terrorists- it's hard to get too outraged by the pilfering that goes on from shops-

Of course it's wrong- but why should the ordinary citizen obey the law when it's clear that the wealthy and the powerful do not?

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From the viewpoint of neo liberal economics these people are simply using their natural abilities and talents to maximize their personal gains.

And lets not overlook the fact that the stores could employ more people to oversee their stock but make a trade off between low staff levels and exposure to theft.

Of course there's the moral argument that using guile and cunning to take that which does not belong to you is morally wrong- but if we go down that road we will have to depopulate the City of London and fill the prisons with bankers - and lay waste to the national economy.

In the face of a rigged Libor, FX and now Precious metals market- plus the myriad of other less obvious scams like insider trading and mis-selling ect ect- not to mention our friends at HSBC laundering drug money for Mexican cartels and terrorists- it's hard to get too outraged by the pilfering that goes on from shops-

Of course it's wrong- but why should the ordinary citizen obey the law when it's clear that the wealthy and the powerful do not?

Good post - It just shows where society is heading when the corruption starts at the top and trickles down.

It's trickle down corruption/theft.

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My experience is it's actually declined markedly since the recession started. I also spot far less would be candidates when I'm out and about - and I can sniff them out like the Child Catcher. Retailers with poor systems will struggle to discern if it's would be customers or staff that are helping themselves though.

Also ar5e covering upper management will sweep all kinds of losses under a shoplifting heading. Things like suppliers, that deliver direct to stores, short-delivering and lazy staff not checking it off can also lead to assumption the inventory discrepancy is down to shoplifting.

Edit to add: Before the thread drowns in the sweat of wrung hands, no-one really shoplifts in this country because they can't feed themselves. They shoplift because they can't feed their drug habit.

Edited by SNACR

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Good post - It just shows where society is heading when the corruption starts at the top and trickles down.

It's trickle down corruption/theft.

I agree. It used to be that I would never ever condone theft or do it myself no matter the circumstances.

But now....

When I hear of "plebs" doing it I think what do the elites expect with the example they've given, and if I ever hear them using morality as the basis for not stealing I just laugh. If it came down to it that I was really really struggling I would steal now without that much hesitation.

The fish rots from the head down....

Edited by alexw

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I agree. It used to be that I would never ever condone theft or do it myself no matter the circumstances.

But now....

When I hear of "plebs" doing it I think what do the elites expect with the example they've given, and if I ever hear them using morality as the basis for not stealing I just laugh. If it came down to it that I was really really struggling I would steal now without that much hesitation.

The fish rots from the head down....

But don't condone it - that's what they want you to do. This stuff about rules and laws, it don't matter.

I'd like to see how the figures are compiled, and what's the trend.

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Edit to add: Before the thread drowns in the sweat of wrung hands, no-one really shoplifts in this country because they can't feed themselves. They shoplift because they can't feed their drug habit

In my local Iceland store they keep the legs of lamb in secure containers that have to be electronically unlocked at the till- so unless there is a big black market in lamb shanks I think we can assume that at least some people are stealing things to eat.

But-of course- let them eat cake- which is far cheaper.

The wider picture here is that the entire retail model of displaying your wares openly so that the customer can serve themselves only works in a context of relative affluence where the temptation to steal is offset by the ability to buy instead.

The war on the poor is not really one you can win by a direct frontal assault - it's more a guerilla conflict where the enemy will adapt their survival strategy to meet your threat. The more Osborne and his millionaires club seek to make the poor pay for the errors of the rich, the more unsustainable the current retail model will become- for those without the means payment becomes another one of life's little luxuries they can no longer afford.

Edited by wonderpup

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In my local Iceland store they keep the legs of lamb in secure containers that have to be electronically unlocked at the till- so unless there is a big black market in lamb shanks I think we can assume that at least some people are stealing things to eat.

Really?

You believe this?

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Surprising they don't just put electronic tags on the meat joints like they do with the spirit bottles etc. Not that difficult to do.

They do put electronic tags on the meat, and the cheese where I am. Still doesn't stop people nicking it by the 'shopping' bag full (sometimes foil lined) from in store, or by the wheely bin/pallet from warehouses.

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Really?

You believe this?

I'm not sure what you mean- I know that Iceland are security protecting their meat because I see it with my own eyes. As to what is driving them to do this I can only assume that people are stealing it.

Are they stealing it in order to eat it? Well-it's possible there is a bizzare perversion involving frozen lamb that I am not aware of- but I am inclined to think that if someone steals a five pound bit of lamb it's because they want to eat it.

I'm not saying that the lamb thieves are in danger of starving to death- but it's clear that in the past Iceland could display their meat without putting it into a security box- and now they can't do that- so something has changed.

And these are not highly expensive cuts- the shank I bought at christmas cost a fiver and it had to be removed from plastic security box before I left the shop- what this means is not entirely clear but it's a new thing- not something I saw in past.

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It's rather sweet you imagine that level of society is preparing food from raw ingredients. They'll be selling it on.

If they really can't afford to eat then I'm not sure they'll plump for something that needs a £1, or more, in the prepay electricity meter to cook it.

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The vast majority of staff don't care about thieves.

Would you risk Dealing with them if you was on zero hour contract , minimum wage and no sick pay. Just not worth the hassle.

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I'm not sure what you mean- I know that Iceland are security protecting their meat because I see it with my own eyes. As to what is driving them to do this I can only assume that people are stealing it.

Are they stealing it in order to eat it? Well-it's possible there is a bizzare perversion involving frozen lamb that I am not aware of- but I am inclined to think that if someone steals a five pound bit of lamb it's because they want to eat it.

I'm not saying that the lamb thieves are in danger of starving to death- but it's clear that in the past Iceland could display their meat without putting it into a security box- and now they can't do that- so something has changed.

And these are not highly expensive cuts- the shank I bought at christmas cost a fiver and it had to be removed from plastic security box before I left the shop- what this means is not entirely clear but it's a new thing- not something I saw in past.

As SNACR says.

Even with my sheltered life, for as long as I have known, it was stuff like coffee, razor blades and meat (cold cuts but latterly fresh too) that was stolen to sell on.

There's bound to be more on that list but its a starter for 10.

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Just like the bankers who have committed crimes there is no real deterrent for shoplifters, its just not worth taking them through the judiciary system for the meaningless so called punishments that are given out. Until this changes expect more of the same the crooks know this and are laughing all the way to the self service checkout .

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Stealing to order by drug addicts has been going on for years. The impression I got from the report on this in yesterday's Telegraph was that there are now more organised gangs nicking 'designer' stuff from department stores. Perhaps the growth of incredibly overpriced designer tat has something to do with it?

Actually nicking stuff has got harder. A relative owns a chain of shops with high value/small size items, and he says that all the shops are linked up to a computer network ( run by the local chamber of commerce I think) whereby if any gangs are seen robbing in the area, an alert with a description and/or cctv footage goes out to all the other shops in the locality. If this happens, my relative's shop posts a member of staff by the door and if the candidates come along, the front door is simply locked and the 'closed' sign put up until the would be offender moves on. Customers in the shop are let out individually. Seems to work quite well.

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It's rather sweet you imagine that level of society is preparing food from raw ingredients. They'll be selling it on.

You don't think it takes a desperate man to shove a deep frozen lamb shank down his trousers in order to sell on at a discount from the 5 quid ticket price?- it sounds a bit desperate to me.

But the real point is why now- why suddenly do I have to get a security box unlocked at the till in order to purchase my sunday lunch? Clearly something has changed- and while I like you vision of a network of shady characters with bulging (and frozen) groins selling the stuff on I don't really find it that convincing- the margins are just to low to want risk both arrest and frostbite of the genitals.

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It's rather sweet you imagine that level of society is preparing food from raw ingredients. They'll be selling it on.

Selling it on to who? Are you saying that there is a thief, then a fence, and then somebody higher up the social ladder who prepares it to a Nigella recipe?

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You don't think it takes a desperate man to shove a deep frozen lamb shank down his trousers in order to sell on at a discount from the 5 quid ticket price?- it sounds a bit desperate to me.

But the real point is why now- why suddenly do I have to get a security box unlocked at the till in order to purchase my sunday lunch? Clearly something has changed- and while I like you vision of a network of shady characters with bulging (and frozen) groins selling the stuff on I don't really find it that convincing- the margins are just to low to want risk both arrest and frostbite of the genitals.

Hahahahalol

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