The Times: Shoplifting is now legal in British cities!

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The main streets in British cities suffer from an increasingly stark rise in theft rates, while the British police lack the necessary resources to deal with these operations, according to the Times newspaper.

The number of shoppers who found themselves, last week, briefly trapped in 3 of the most important stores in Oxford Street in the capital, London, when police clashed with hundreds of teenage youths who were intending to participate in a mass robbery of the major stores.

This operation came in response to incitement calls that were shared on social media through Tik Tok and Snapchat, and called on followers to participate in the theft of famous British stores, especially the “JD Sports” store, which is a British brand specializing in sportswear.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that it had arrested a number of people in connection with the robberies, and others for violating the order to disperse gatherings.

According to the Times, the British police no longer bother to deal with the majority of petty theft crimes that occur in the country in light of the police’s suffering from a lack of manpower, resources, and the necessary police headquarters, which caused dire repercussions on the security of shops in the country.

The British Retail Consortium, which represents 70% of retailers in the country, says that shoplifting incidents doubled between 2016 and 2017, with losses now reaching more than 8 million annually, while the number of people charged with theft has decreased from 80,000 a decade ago to 21,000 until June 2022.

These numbers increased the feelings of impunity among the perpetrators who carry out the thefts, and the absence of the police from dealing with all theft incidents in the country created a vacuum in which shop owners were left to confront the thieves alone without any strong support or powers of their own.

The Times correspondent spoke with a small grocery store owner in London, who said that his shop is being robbed on a daily basis, especially for goods that can be easily resold.

Another store owner said that he single-handedly faced thieves carrying knives, and complained that the police didn’t come to his store or take any action in this regard.

According to Sharon White, the head of the British “John Lewis” supermarket chain, “Shoplifting is now legal in England and Wales, and violence is an ongoing concern”.

The main streets in British cities have become easy targets for thieves and drug addicts who threaten shopkeepers and shopkeepers on a daily basis, prompting some of them to close for fear of their lives, while the police force is satisfied with documenting incidents and issuing statistics about them.

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