Price inflation causes a 22% rise in thefts as supermarkets increase security

Supermarkets have seen a 22% rise in thefts in response to the rising cost-of-living crisis, according to research from My Favourite Voucher Codes.

Of 2,584 shoppers surveyed, 34% admitted to have stolen products at self-service checkouts in the last year. Over two thirds of those (69%) agreed that price increases on supermarket products was the main factor behind their shoplifting.

The most frequently stolen items included toiletries, hygiene products, fruit and vegetables, baby formula and confectionery.

As of 12 June, inflation of grocery products has reached 8.3% according to Kantar data, its highest level since April 2009.

READ MORE: 56% of Britons are buying fewer groceries amid cost of living crisis

To combat the spike in stolen goods, UK supermarkets have started adding security tags to everyday grocery items, in addition to products usually protected such as alcohol and cosmetics.

The tags which will trigger an alarm if not removed by staff before being taken from a store, have been most recently been added to items including Aldi cheese priced at £3.99.

Some Asda stores have also seen Lurpak under stronger security measures as the butter brand has risen in price across supermarkets, currently costing £6 in the Big 4 grocer.

While figures show the average shoplifter stole £27 worth of products within the past year, the South West, North East and North West have all seen average thefts of over £30.

“Theft, in any measure, is not something that can be condoned. But the findings do highlight the drastic situation many have found themselves in during this cost-of-living crisis,” My Favourite Voucher Codes managing director, Julian House said.

“Such a high proportion are suggesting they are stealing necessary items that they simply cannot afford.”

“This speaks to a societal and economic issue that simply must be addressed in greater measures than it currently is.”

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