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Middle Class Shoplifting
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Middle class shoplifting

Nothing irritates us at the Centre more than hearing that we believe that shoplifting by the middle classes is now a significant problem driving retail theft upwards.

The most recent claim about our alleged views on the criminality of the middle classes when they enter a shop can be found on the BBC website page entitled Why Do Well-off People Shoplift? (found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16469928).

This references our findings in the Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB), which of course we produce every year.

There are many other press articles referring to our findings on middle class shoplifting.

In fact we have never researched whether the middle classes are stealing more.

We have never ever published anything stating that middle-class crime is driving retail crime, or that prosperous people are shoplifting much more than they did before.

We assume that middle-class crime is on the rise as is crime by other sectors of the community. We do not know and we never have stated that middle-class criminals have become a much bigger problem for retailers than a few years ago.

The story about our alleged opinions started in 2009 as a result of publicity for the GRTB. What we actually said in the 2009 edition of the GRTB (page 25) is shown here:

quote from 2009 GRTB

That is our only reference to middle class shoplifting.

In Joshua Bamfield's new book, Shopping and Crime (Palgrave-Macmillan), there certainly is a discussion about celebrity shoplifting and shoplifting by people who can normally afford to pay.

The book is out in March 2012. Buy a copy and find out.

Poster for 'I Was a Shoplifter'