London department store Fortnum and Mason has given up on calling police to catch shoplifters and is instead using its own private detectives to apprehend thieves.
The upmarket brand has “lost faith in the police” in response to rising levels of shoplifting, partly driven by the cost of living crisis.
Responding to Fortnum and Mason’s decision to use its own security to catch thieves, the Metropolitan Police said businesses were “entitled to employ security companies to provide additional safety for themselves or their premises.”
“Home Office figures published in April revealed that shoplifting prosecutions had fallen to an all-time low,” reports the Telegraph. “Just one in six (16.8 per cent) shoplifting offences reported to police resulted in a charge, nearly half the rate of 30.8 per cent five years previously.”
Between 200,000 and 300,000 shoplifting offences go unpunished every year, while untold thousands more are never even reported.
Citing a lack of resources, police departments across the UK have stopped responding to or investigating some crimes, with their officers presumably being more interested in performing dance routines at gay pride parades.
Car theft in London has effectively been decriminalised, with just 277 out of 55,000 offences being solved by Scotland Yard, a 0.5% success rate.
Back in 2015, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said that due to a lack of resources, officers would be unable to attend some burglaries. In 2018, it was revealed that two thirds of burglaries are not even investigated.
Despite many crimes going unsolved, there are still plenty of resources available to prosecute people for saying offensive things or making edgy social media posts.
Back in June, a man was jailed for 20 weeks for the ‘crime’ of posting offensive George Floyd memes in private WhatsApp and Facebook group chats.
In 2017, it was reported that British police had arrested 3,395 people for ‘offensive online comments’ in the space of a year.