OPINION: Is cost-of-living crisis behind retail crime increase? – James Lowman, chief executive, ACS

'This combination of desperation and confidence makes it more likely that incidents will escalate into violence if they’re challenged'

Kent police commissioner on retail crime

A question we’re being asked a lot recently is whether there a link between tighter household finances and increased shop theft

The answer appears to be yes, but not in the way people immediately think. 

More stores are experiencing theft and the timing of this rise maps to the growing cost-of-living crisis. What’s more, the qualitative evidence backs this up. 

Retailers tell us they are seeing more theft in their stores right now. 

The argument goes that people are struggling to make ends meet, so they’re stealing more to feed themselves. 

That’s not what we hear from members. 

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