LBC analysis: Shoplifting soars by 20% in Scotland as thousands more thefts recorded in last year

19 September 2023, 11:30 | Updated: 20 September 2023, 10:14

Shoplifting has soared by 20% in Scotland
Shoplifting has soared by 20% in Scotland. Picture: Alamy
Alan Zycinski

By Alan Zycinski

There's been a surge in shoplifting in the last year in Scotland with thousands more thefts.

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Scotland's seen one of its biggest rises in shoplifting cases in more than three decades.

Newly released figures show there were 30,202 cases recorded by police in the year ending June 2023.

That's a 21% rise on the 24,877 in the year before - an additional 5325 incidents.

The only bigger jump is when comparing stats for the year ending December 2021 to December 2022 - from 21234 to 26835 (26%). And analysis from LBC shows that's there hasn't been as big a yearly June to June rise going back until 1990.

We recently reported how UK police are being urged to scan every CCTV image of shoplifters with facial recognition technology - with warnings the crime has reached "endemic" levels.

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High street stores have also been forced to lock everyday items away securely amid fears of widespread shoplifting.

The Scottish Regional Secretary for USDAW – the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers - Tracy Gilbert said: "This is no surprise to USDAW that there has been a rise in retail crime in the recent months and years.

"Not only obviously has the cost of living impacted this but this has always been a problem and it's why in Scotland we have the protection of shopworkers law in place to protect retail workers.

"Our most recent survey showed three quarters of shopworkers have been abused or assaulted.

"And one in three of those incidents are triggered by shoplifting.

"We're also hearing that shoplifting has increased significantly particularly around organised crime, often linked to drugs and with stealing large high value items."