The Polish police are recording more and more shoplifting. The number of such crimes has increased by more than 30 % year-on-year. Small establishments are the most frequently robbed.
Citing data from the Police General Command, the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper reports that in 2022, the number of shoplifting offences increased by 31.1 % year-on-year, to over 32,700. The number of shoplifting offences increased by 21.5 %, to 234,300.
“The increase in thefts is a clear sign of trouble in the market, with rising prices causing more people to go for it. For shops, this is obviously a huge challenge and an increase in operating costs”, says Renata Juszkiewicz, President of the Polish Organisation of Commerce and Distribution.
A new phenomenon that is now noticeable in the market is the theft of products that were not previously stolen in large numbers – especially basic food products.
“Behind this are mainly people who do it out of a certain compulsion. The second category is loophole goods – e.g. perfumes, expensive spirits, small electronics, etc. Organised crime groups are mainly behind these thefts”, says Maciej Tygielski, managing director of the SkipWish Group.
According to the daily newspaper, the changes can also be seen by which shops are being robbed. Police statistics show that the number of theft offences in large shops in 2022 increased by 20.8 %, to 188.3 thousand. The number of theft offences in small shops increased faster, by 24.6 %. More than 46,000 have already been recorded.
According to Łukasz Grzesik, an expert on prevention of shoplifting. this year, the scale of shoplifting is likely to increase significantly, also because the recorded increase in statistics took place before the rise in the threshold between an offence and a crime – from PLN 500 to 800.
“We will only be able to assess the extent of the growing phenomenon when we compare data from this year and from previous years”, predicts the expert.