'Stealing to eat' cases increase as austerity bites

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Jan 25 2013, 11:05:25

Charities and police report rise in people shoplifting for groceries such as baby milk and food

The data may still be sketchy and the evidence largely anecdotal, but there are signs of an austerity-era shoplifting phenomenon: more people stealing to eat because they cannot afford basic groceries.

Teenage asylum seeker Amine Ahnini was almost destitute when he stole a sandwich from Sainsbury's last year. Ahnini, who is not allowed to work, had £35 a week for food, clothes and travel, and said he would often go for one or two days without eating.

But it is not just asylum seekers driven to desperation thefts. Charities and police say that as living costs rise and incomes shrink, "stealing to eat" is increasing and the shoplifter demographic is widening. Officers say food shoplifters can be mothers struggling to feed their children, or hungry pensioners. In many cases they have no criminal record. The rise is more marked in deprived areas.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...