Petty theft cases rise by almost 1,000 as cost-of-living pressures increase
- Credit: PA
Cases of petty theft such as shoplifting in Suffolk between January and May have risen by almost 1,000 compared with the same period last year.
Data obtained via the Freedom of Information Act showed the figure grew from 2,516 in 2021 to 3,362 in 2022.
May and March of this year saw the highest number of cases overall, with the county witnessing 733 and 739 crimes respectively.
The news comes as the cost of living continues to increase pressures on households across the UK.
The past few months have seen a number of supermarket bosses and retail experts warn of an increase in theft and shoplifting, linking a rise in crime to the struggle many are facing with continuous rising prices.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said: “The current cost of living difficulties are very unhelpful for everyone, especially those on low incomes, but I do not see that as an excuse for individuals resorting to criminal behaviour.
“All theft is unacceptable and we need to remember that for every theft there is a victim and the consequences to individuals and businesses could be significant.”
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He added, “I’d like to urge all homeowners and businesses to do what they possibly can to prevent these crimes occurring and remember all crimes need to be reported as quickly as possible to help the police with their investigations.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman added: "Understanding the reasons behind rises in some crime types is a complex matter and crime trends fluctuate from year to year. We constantly review all crime being reported to us to ensure we deploy our resources effectively, based on the threat, harm and risk posed and this will remain the case going forward in the months ahead.”
“Statistics are a useful gauge however they should not be looked at in isolation and they do not always show the full picture. We always look to prioritise giving a high level of service to those who become victims of crime.
“We remain determined to ensure we continue to do everything we can to protect the communities we serve, as well as those who are the most vulnerable in our society.”