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Inspector Fears Rise In Shoplifting As Benefit Cuts Bite

Wednesday August 8 2012



A POLICE inspector fears a rise in shoplifting for basic essentials when changes to the benefits system comes into force next year.

Insp Julie Mitchell spoke to councillors on a scrutiny commission about the impact of the current economic climate.

She said: "At the moment crime hasn't gone up but the full effect has not hit yet - we can all see this disaster coming towards us."

The changes are feared to lead to further pressure on people with low incomes, with a new benefit, the universal credit, being brought in to replace various benefits, including income support and job seekers' allowance.

Insp Mitchel said: "It is those people who would not have thought about turning to crime, but when short of basic essentials, there is a fear they
might do so.

"There is no specific research to refer to, we are making an assumption that when people are stretched some will turn to crime.

"I am in charge of a project on shoplifting for the borough and at the moment there is not a significant proportion of shoplifting for basic
essentials, it's more for alcohol.

"But we will be keeping a very close eye on it."

Don Allen, principal officer for the welfare rights service, added: "We do not want to scaremonger people but they could be more than £100 a
week worse off by next year."



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45 Showing 45 comments

Reply Posted by Keith O'Reilly on Wednesday August 8 2012 at 18:28
Poverty is no excuse for crime

Reply Posted by Not Telling on Thursday August 9 2012 at 14:37
it is when you have a family to feed and not enough income, its Ok for these with good jobs but what about these with basic wage jobs...

Reply Posted by Freeman on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:33
Keith, clearly you have never been subject to real poverty. And you are a numpty. I have absolutely zero issue with people who are destitute walking into tesco, asda, morrisons, any of the large retailers selling basics like food, and taking what they need for free. Not local shops, but large retailers. They are the ones forcing us to shop there by pricing everyone else selling similar things out of the market because of their ability to undercut prices through bulk buying. local shops and town centres are being completely destroyed by this practice, and i for one would rather go to a local shop to get my basics than got to Tesco to buy vacuum packed homogenised products. If i lose my job and end up on Jobseekers, and i'm stretched to the limit through no fault of my own you can be damn sure i'll get what i need, even if i can't afford it, and now you know where i'm guna get it.

Reply Posted by fred on Wednesday August 8 2012 at 22:24
Chop their hands off - won't do it again

Reply Posted by Freeman on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:35
They will also never work again, and remain on sickness benefits for ever. Imbecile.

Reply Posted by Tyke on Thursday August 9 2012 at 15:03
Make life livable and affordable, help the unemployed get into work and support them and it wont happen. If my family was starving you get your a**e id go out and steal it, this country is a bloody disgrace and total mess, I can see mass riots coming.

Reply Posted by mark on Thursday August 9 2012 at 16:21
i have never stole anything in my life, but if my daughter needed food and i couldn't buy any i would do anything to get it. some people on benifits just manage and go without things but the people who the goverment let in the country get food vouchers have cars and walk round in designer clothes and have mobile phones. stop their benifits.

Reply Posted by Freeman on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:38
I see your point and i feel your pain, but, doing that creates a criminal underclass and organised crime is likely to skyrocket when you have large numbers of minority who feel neglected and alienated in the place where they live. They will find it increasingly difficult to find legitimate employment over time, and without benefits where will they get there basics from? Not a tough one if you look past the tip of your nose...

Reply Posted by Thief Catcher on Thursday August 9 2012 at 16:38
I used to be Security in a major shop on Barnsley High Street, 170 arrests in a year in that 1 shop alone, So new laws in Benefits wont make it worse as its bad already...

Reply Posted by concerned parent on Saturday August 11 2012 at 18:11
people could say anything they wanted about me i would do whatever it took to make sure my kids wern't hungry

Reply Posted by not telling on Saturday August 11 2012 at 18:17
I have just become employed after over a year i have never stolen anything but if it had come to it i would have to. i have 4 children who have to be feed and clothed but i know myself and my partner have missed meals so the food we had in would be there for the kid

Reply Posted by anon on Saturday August 11 2012 at 19:01
I fear for people with the economic crisis, when I had my son through no fault of my own I ended up on benefits £38 a week! To run a home & feed myself, pregnant I went without food & asylum seekers near me got shopping vouchers!!! THIS COUNTRY IS A DISGRACE!!

Reply Posted by Freeman on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:44
Who are you angry at? Asylum seekers? Stupid argument, as they are here because where they come from generally speaking, are war zones or places where if they returned they would be killed or tortured or both. They didn't come here because they fancied a change. They came here, through lots of other countries on their way, because our government decided to offer these people what is on the table now. our government, who we voted for. If you wanna get angry, get angry at the government, they created the situation and WE voted for them. So everyone should shoulder some of the blame for that one.

Reply Posted by John on Saturday August 11 2012 at 19:13
We should do what Australia has done...send all unemployed non-nationals back to there own country's, we can no longer afford to take in refugees and such like...close the borders, also we MUST stop giving alcoholics and drug users money/substitutes for there addictions.

I'm not the only one that can see a civil war coming, every civilisation is just three meals from war and if familys are going hungry it will happen.

Reply Posted by concerned parent on Saturday August 11 2012 at 22:41
the government are going to make sure the poorest people of this country are going to suffer and the rich get richer because you can bet they arnt going to be voted in again theyll make dam sure they destroy the lives of the ones they know will never vote for them i for one wish the poorest people of this country would stand up to the government like they do in every other country

Reply Posted by Freeman on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:46
Parent, well done. Nail right on the head pretty much!

Reply Posted by corinne on Sunday August 12 2012 at 15:33
I cannot get my head around HOW they can cut benefits of people who are on the minimum the so called LAW says we need to live on??? Something has to give and i fear there will be a lot of people getting into trouble just to be able to live x

Reply Posted by concerned parent on Sunday August 12 2012 at 16:36
you can put my name at the top of that list corinne i dont agree with stealing for drugs etc, but if my family didnt have food in there belly ,shoes on there feet,and clothes on there back i would do whatever it took or die trying and all i can say to mr's cameron and clegg is youd better start building more prisons because if we cant feed our families we certainly wont be able to pay fines

Reply Posted by greenginger on Sunday August 12 2012 at 17:04
I have no sympathy for the people moaning or threatening to steal to feed their kids because I dont believe you. Most of you will smoke, drink on a regular basis, buy junk food and have sky tv plus a car or two and dont mention the named brand clothes! If you really understood poverty you would realise that you have to help yourself and your family not live off the state. I have heard every excuse going but please somebody on here tell me I am wrong about your quality of life??????

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 19:48
Greenginger, yes you're right, you are indeed totally wrong. Congrats.

Reply Posted by corinne on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:09
Greenginger you are wrong.. i dont do/have any of what you have wrote and i certainly dont want anybodys sympathy you realy shouldnt tar all people with the same brush !!!

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Sunday August 12 2012 at 22:23
yes you are wrong greenginger i dont drink i used to cant afford to now, dont have a car used to not now cant afford it dont have takeaways or fast food used to cant afford it now,idont have sky tv and i certainly dont have branded clothes i used to buy a new outfit every month not now,i cant remember the last time i bought an item of clothing dont get me wrong i dont think for one minuet i should still have all these things i am happy that i get enough to feed myself and keep a roof over my head i certainly dont expect to live how i did when i was working health is something you dont have much control over im afraid and you are obviously one of the lucky ones who are healthy and able to work but healths not garanteed and im sure put in a situation where you couldnt feed your kids you would do whatever it took

Reply Posted by Kathy on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 09:57
i work for a minimum wage (i get child tax credit also) n cos i got a raise.........because i now do extra duties i declared it as i am supposed to the council increased my rent ....so if i work a 4 week month i get an extra £2 a month...if i work a 5 week month i am losing £5 a month ......hows that a raise.....................i dont smoke, rarely drink, we have takeaways about once every 3/4 months i dont have sky , i have freeveiw.....i have a big telly but was someone elses cast off........n yes i know this is not totally related to the post but needed to vent ..........even workers r badly off cos of the government .....me n my kids dont live...we exist

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 10:18
this government doesn't care about people on the minimum wage kathy your not rich enough, they only look after the rich of this country and when they have stopped most benefits of the sick and unemployed they will have to find money somewhere else, and thats when any benefits the people on minimum wage can claim will be stopped, theyv'e already shown they have no intention of affecting the rich cos that will mean they have to put there hands in there own pockets, instead of the poorest people in this country turning on each other they should be standing together against this government'

Reply Posted by Hannah-Marie on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 10:56
this is beyond a joke! i will do anything to keep my kids fed, i think there will be more than just shoplifting, there will be people starving to keep their kids fed and the goverment dont give a s***, as long as there family is well fed and clothed why would they give a toss, now i realise why my dad is moving out of this country, he works 3 jobs and goes uni AND has his own business but still gets screwed over by goverment, i thing we should stand as 1 and support eachother, other than fighting with eachother

Reply Posted by Darren on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 11:32
Cutting benefits is disgusting! We can't refuse foreign nationals benefits because of Europe! The last government increased everybody's benefits, & spent all this counties money! Now as a country we're broke, yet we're still having to pay all the increased benefits & we're still taking in foreign nationals & paying them benefits too. Add to that our schools are failing because they're having to teach basic English to pupils due to non English speaking pupils, & the huge drain on the NHS due to our inreased population. I agree that the immigration needs sorting immediately & yes lets do what our Auzzie cousins do, kick out benefit claiming non nationals! If we can't look after our own people how on Earth are we supposed to look after the rest of the worlds people? Oh & to those crying about the rich getting richer, think on this... rich people who pay 5% tax, contribute more money to the government than 100 people on low wage jobs. Tax them more & they can afford to leave this island & pay taxes elsewhere, then there would be NO benefits & likely NO NHS. I'm poor, jobless & lodge with friends & family, I don't have money to spend & I hate being out of work, but cutting benefits wont make more people find work unless there are jobs for us!!! & yes I'm a father & if I cannot work to feed my family, & if the government cuts my benefits to such an extent that I can't feed my family, I will do whatever necessary to feed my family!

Reply Posted by anan on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:12
i'm not racist but we have let too many people in this country, draining the economy and less jobs for our own people

Reply Posted by lindsey on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:20
well i have 7 children im a single parent and lost my job may this year im struggeliing now i would love another job there just isnt one and if they cut my benefits furthur i can assure you i will do whatever it takes to feed my kids and ive heard it all before shouldnt have had so many kids well i did and i bloody worked to pay for them my dad died i had a mental break down ive ended up on benefits shoot me. i still have to feed and clothe 7 kids thats never going to change the government are taking the piss should luck after r own and they dont give a toss

Reply Posted by mybabyruby on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:25
do you know what, some of these comments on here make me laugh, my husband lost his job 2 years ago through no fault of his own. Rather than struggle on benefits i turned £100 into an idea; which i then turned into MY BUSINESS and became self employed i now enjoy earning £600+ a week, to read some of these comments about how you would go out and steal blah blah blah GET OFF YOUR ARSES AND DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF. i had to to support MY family the hard way, yes it was a struggle and yes it was hard but hard work pays !!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Trashrich&poor on Wednesday August 22 2012 at 00:12
Well it's ignorant people like you that make this country have a divide, shame you dont inject some of your cash onto the poorer people, so they can get a job!!!! wake up and realise you are one of the lucky ones who have been educated, some havn't got the skills or £100 to do that. You need to learn the word HUMANITY and IGNORANCE!!!

Reply Posted by single mother on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:30
i am a single mum to 3 children.. i had a morgage i worked i had a car then became single i had t leave work to raise my children.. i worked for 10hrs aweek for an extra £62 .i had nothing painted or carpeted wen i moved in to a council house. my shoppin bill is £50 a week i dont even recieve milk vochers,,,,that extra £62 was goin towards the food shop an carpets for bedrooms. Now i have t stop working coz im not workin over 16hrs i now have t pay back 42.50 out of ever £62 i earned... i have no help, im going t have to struggle get a full time job an work round school runs an nursery runs as well as all house work an making dinners... its hard work now but i love my kids id do anything so i would steal if they was hungry

Reply Posted by lat on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:32
benefits are there to cover essential living costs such as food clothing and heating ect, they aren't there to cover luxurys such as nights out, designer gear,games consoles ect which are all things that shoved in our face as essentialsso if theft of these items rise as a result then who is really to blame.

Reply Posted by D on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:35
I know people who scam benifits by claiming they don't live together n I think it's disgusting people scamming n other people who I know who moan they have no money...... All they do is eat bloody takeaways, but crap, smoke, etc, etc m they have the cheak to moan about it. If people say pet like there's no jobs to buy food n stuff I got made redundant when resession started and I got offer 3 jobs at once, so of people say they can't pay cos there's no jobs then your not looking hard enough! If they cut benifits it might get people off their arse instead of watching Jeremy Kyle!

Reply Posted by d on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 22:54
Why do people think that work think people on benefits sit on there arses? I care for 3 people have 2kids one person has remission cancer,my days are always booked up,I don't recive carers allowace so some of us are not all that bad and sat on are arse.

Reply Posted by mybabyruby on Thursday August 16 2012 at 08:17
and by the way i have 3 children 7,4 and 3 and im a carer for my dad, i have a house to run and a husband to look after, i still find time to run my business so dont talk about your days are booked up, find time woman !!! ive had to

Reply Posted by M on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 23:33
You're all arguing about the fact that you may not be able to afford to feed yourselves and your families, and that you wouldn't hesitate to steal to do so if benefits were cut. Yet you're having this debate via a PC or Laptop and the internet... so there are other things that can clearly be cut back before you're "forced" to steal to feed yourselves. No doubt many also have the latest games consoles and a giant TV on which to watch Jeremy Kyle while you eat your Greggs. Benefits being cut don't "force" you to steal, it forces you to find alternative income, such as WORK!

Reply Posted by lee on Wednesday August 15 2012 at 23:39
what do you exepect folk to do i will do whatever it takes to feed and dress my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Thursday August 16 2012 at 14:23
i dont think anyone disputes the fact that its wrong that people who are well able to work for a living are milking the system its the genuine people who are too ill to work and living on the absolute minimum benefits i feel sorry for people who are dying of cancer and have only months to live are being forced to work because they are still breathing if i was in that situation i would want to spend what precious time i had left with my family and if that ment claiming benefits would that make me a lowlife and a scrounger

Reply Posted by single mother on Thursday August 16 2012 at 19:49
well i start work next week all week and the weekend t give my kids what i didnt... its not whos got latest this that is kids we were same not everyones born with a silver spoon in mouth !! being on benifits so what yh sum ppl do take the mick but others r trying there up most best struggleing t FIND work.... u sound up ya own backside D not everyone on benifits is the same !!! dont class me as a lard arss watchin jezzer smoking a fag an avin 3 kids coz am NOT far from

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Thursday August 16 2012 at 20:25
most of you hollier than thou i would never steal to feed my kids hypacrits make me sick how many of you at some time in yor life have found money in the street and gone running straight to police station to hand it in or put it straight in your pocket i suspect most of you put it in your pocket even though its not yours in my eyes thats stealing how many of you have gone into a shop put things under your pushchair or in the hood payed for your shopping and then realised after you have left the shop youve forgot to pay for the item on the pushchair and not gone back to pay for it or youve got outside and realised your little one has something in their hand or bought something and they charged you the wrong price and you said nothing i could go on for ever with examples like these, these are all examples of stealing intentional or not this isnt about scum that steal just for the hell of it this about ordinary honest people and what they would do faced with hungry children and wether they would steal to feed them if there was no other option left to them

Reply Posted by greenginger on Friday August 17 2012 at 22:55
Well I seem to have upset some people don't I? Let us get this straight. When the benefits system that people know today was first invented it was as a "safety net not a catch all". That meant that it was put in place for the most needy in society. People too ill or disabled to work. It was not to give social housing for life, which is unreasonable for those who buy or rent privately. It was not so that you could choose to stop at home to care for children. If you want to do that then fund it yourself. It was not to fund drug addiction, beer, gambling, smoking or the other vices which so many deem necessary today. I know many people who work and have always worked in difficult jobs that they had to obtain an education for. Those people have no benefits and some have lost jobs and many struggle financially. However they do not sit at home (paid for by the state) and refuse to look for work because they would have us believe that there are no jobs or that a foreign person took them all. I say again rubbish. Cancel your internet accounts, stop smoking, stop drinking and take that minimum wage job and make do and stop whining. Tax payers have no sympathy with lazy people any more. Or you could do what usually happens and swear at me, screech and type insults in poor grammar and worse spelling. Don't make excuses.

Reply Posted by concernd mother on Saturday August 18 2012 at 10:25
so you can spell greenginger well good for you, i assume your one of the lucky ones who happen to be in reasonable health and have a job well let us get this straight your health and your job do not come with guarantees.i am not some youngster with half a dozen kids, i am a grandmother who worked for thirty years and payed more than my fair share of taxes and unfortunatley after being struck down with a crippling illness was forced to finish work and not through choice i didnt want to have to live in social housing but was left with no choice after my marriage broke down. i dont choose to live like this i would give anything to have my self respect and self worth back.i am sure there are a lot more people who recieve benefits who are the same as me.i agree with your statement this benefit is not for drugs beer gambling etc but some of us are forced into this situation and live on the bare minimum and dont complain about it. i was raised with a strong work ethic and was taught if you want something you work for it ive brought up my kids to have this same work ethic and am now in the proccess of instilling this into my grandkids so all i can say to you greenginger is i truelly hope that you are never struck down with illness or loose your job and find yourself in the same situation as for some of us it is totally sole destroying and i hope that if you and people like you ever end up this way you will take a few minuets to think about the attitude you have right now and how hurtfull it is to genuine people oh and please excuse the spelling and grammer dont know how to use the spell checker

Reply Posted by Walkamileinmyshoes on Wednesday August 22 2012 at 00:22
Here, here!!!! a decent person trying to spell it out to the many ignorant tax paying sheep! Like the lady said, she paid her taxes for many years.... circumstances change, as with many people! this it what the government want you to do stupid, attack each other, instead of working together! from an x benefit, now working, non drinking, non-drug taking normal everyday person that will in future try to help others.

Reply Posted by greenginger on Saturday August 18 2012 at 16:49
Actually you know nothing. I have an incurable and chronic disease which I suffer with. I worked from being a teenager and I am in my 40's. I have always paid my own way and never claimed benefits of any kind except child benefit which goes into my kids bank account. I am not against people receiving help if you read my earlier posts. However I am against spongers whining. Oh and when my previous marriage and relationship broke down I didn't whine about that either. I am not super rich and don't smoke or drink or do drugs and yes I can spell without using a spell checker. So what do you know?

Reply Posted by concerned mother on Saturday August 18 2012 at 19:09
im in my 50's and worked all my life to from being 14 years old and im sorry you are ill but it obviously doesnt affect you to the point that you are unable to work does it and when my marriage broke down i didnt whine either and you also know nothing about me and my condition do you and if your condition is chronic and incurable then just think about this if someone had told me 10 years ago that i would be practically bed ridden unable to do a lot of things myself i would have laughed at them so please dont be so smug because at your age i would have been able to say ive never claimed benefits and like i said in my earlier posts im also against scroungers and this is getting ridiculous when this post was to debate wether people would steal to feed there kids not wether your illness is worse than my illness
so lets get back to the point
do you think stealing is acceptable? no i dont
is there ever a time stealing is acceptable ? no never
would you steal to feed yourself? no
if your children were hungry would you steal ?you bet your life i would
is this acceptable ? no but if my kids were starving id do it in a heartbeat