The rise in retail crime may be in part due to the middle class shoplifters, an M&S chairman said
Middle class shoplifters are partly to blame for the rise in retail crime, a Marks & Spencer’s chairman has said.
Speaking to LBC, chairman Archie Norman said it’s too easy to blame the cost of living crisis on the surge in stealing.
He said: ‘Some of it is by gangs or people stealing to fuel a drugs habit. No doubt that’s probably increased a bit, it’s always been there.
‘Then you get the sort of middle class… with the reduction of service you get in a lot of shops, a lot of people go in and think, “well this didn’t scan or it’s very difficult to scan these things through and I shop here all the time, it’s not my fault, I’m owed it”.’
He also said M&S is less attractive to shoplifters who want to resell items on sites like eBay, since the shops stock their own branded products.
Recorded offences rose by 25% in the year to June, according to police data for England and Wales released last month.
Self-service tills may be contributing to the rise in shoplifting as well, Mr Norman said.
The middle class shoplifting phenomenon has been increasing in recent years, however, with one mum saying she does it to ‘get a buzz’.
Mum Lucy said self-service tills are the best place to steal.
She said: ‘You can also put pricier items such as salmon fillets through as onions.
‘I just walk past the security guards and smile. I do feel ashamed, but I know it’s not just me.’
In 2022, Nina Tiara, thought to be Britain’s most prolific middle-class shoplifter, was jailed for two years and nine months for her crimes.
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