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Shoplifting in England and Wales reaches record high

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that shoplifting in England and Wales soared to its highest level on record in 2023 since recording began in 2003. The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) indicates that over 430,000 shoplifting offences were recorded last year, marking a 37% increase compared to 2022.

This surge represents the highest number of shoplifting incidents recorded since current police recording practices were implemented for the year ending March 2003, according to the ONS.

In an article in Retail Gazette, Home Secretary James Cleverly expressed concern over the rise in shoplifting and criticised the police's classification of it as a 'sub-threshold crime'.

Recently, the UK government also decided to tackle the rising incidents of violence and abuse towards shop staff, by deciding assaulting a shopworker is set to become a separate criminal offence in England and Wales. This decision was based on the surge in shoplifting incidents, with daily reports of violence against retail employees increasing by 50% last year amid the cost-of-living crisis.



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