Desperate for a fix: CSJ report into shop theft

Established in 2004, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an independent think tank that studies the root causes of Britain’s social problems and addresses them by recommending practical, workable policy interventions. The CSJ’s vision is to give people in the UK who are experiencing the worst disadvantage and injustice every possible opportunity to reach their full potential.


Report Summary

Heroin and crack cocaine, along with the recent explosion in New Psychoactive Substances, are not only blighting communities but drive as much as 50 per cent of all acquisitive crime, and 70 per cent of shop thefts.

Police recorded shop theft topped 385,000 offences last year, but the true figure, based on Home Office assumptions, is closer to 38 million offences. In 2017, we estimate shop theft cost £6.3bn – equivalent to £270 for every household in the country – and more than the average household’s monthly grocery shop.

At the same time, offenders with 36 or more previous convictions or cautions are responsible for an increasing proportion of theft offences dealt with by the criminal justice system – growing from 39 percent in 2010 to more than 60 per cent last year. Over the same period, the even more prolific cohort of offenders, with more than 60 previous convictions, has doubled.

Read the report for more details and the recommendations

pdfCSJ-Desperate-for-a-fix-WEB-1.pdf699.92 KB