According to the chair of Merseyside’s police and crime commission, there has been a “huge surge” in supermarket thefts. This increase may be related to the rising cost of living.
Councilwoman Barbara Murray reported that the manager of a nearby grocery informed her there was “something else” going on with the recent spike in instances.
Instead of transforming shoplifters into criminals, she proposed a scheme to direct them to foodbanks.
It was a “excellent argument,” according to Emily Spurrell, commissioner of police and crime.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ms. Murray informed the panel that she had discussed the matter in a meeting with the neighborhood MP, police, and grocery manager.
In contrast, she claimed that the number of burglaries and other “acquisitive crimes” in the city had decreased.
The manager of the store insisted that it was “obvious this is something different” despite the police’s assertion that substance abusers more frequently commit supermarket theft than those who are in need or scarcity.
People “are really strapped for cash,” according to Ms. Murray, and it “is about being compassionate.”
“Can we direct those who are caught to foodbanks where there is support?” she continued.
Ms. Murray acknowledged that some stores were already engaging in this practice, which would “hide” the severity of the issue.
In the future, she predicted that “awfully many families would be harmed by arrests,” and added, “We need to find other means of assisting individuals.”
Ms. Spurrell responded, stating: “It’s such a terrible moment, and I’m extremely cognizant of the impact it will have on vulnerable individuals as well as the temptation for those trying to feed their families.
There are undoubtedly dialogues to be held, but knowledge about foodbanks has to be spread.