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News - 21 December 2008

Christmas is a time for giving is also a time for taking!

Christmas is a time when most decent people want to pay full price for goods because they feel that a gift should not be compromised by being discounted. However, there are about a million people in the UK who see it all in a very different light.

New research claims almost a million Britons are considering shoplifting presents to give to friends or family this festive season. The reasons given are the credit crunch and the rapid increase in the cost of living since the start of the year.

The Fifth Annual Retail Crime Survey says that 2.6 million British adults aged 16-64 admitted to shoplifting over the last 12 months - a 30% increase on the previous 12 months. Cumulatively that represents stolen merchandise valued over £783 million (in 2007 it was £747million).

Around 36,000 British adults each steal over £25,000 of goods from British stores annually - often career criminals who steal-to-order specific items that are then resold on the black market.

With the financial crisis threatening higher levels of unemployment, the research also suggests that job losses could see retailers facing a surge in shoplifting incidents, warns G4S. The research reveals over 1.6 million (4%) British adults would consider shoplifting if they lost their job. This figure soars to one-in-ten amongst 16-24 year olds. Meanwhile concerns over the rising cost of food could see an additional 1.3 million British adults contemplating retail theft.

Retailers need to be extra vigilant in these troubled times particularly if they are not in the Business Improvement District (BID) or signed up to the Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) both of which offer a degree of protection from shoplifters (click on links for further information).

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Brighton BID
Business Crime Reduction Partnership

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