The United Kingdom is sinking deeper into poverty. It has gotten so bad that stores are employing extra security measures to prevent being looted.
Security guards are stationed at unmanned cash registers, employees closely monitor the camera footage, and high-value items have magnetic stickers attached to them, all in an effort to prevent escalating theft.
In the United Kingdom, it is no longer just addicts and homeless individuals who steal food and drinks from supermarkets; even ordinary citizens quickly put a piece of cheese, a pack of paracetamol, or laundry detergent in their bags and bypass the checkout.
Over the span of six years, the number of thefts has doubled to 8 million, with nowhere else in Northern Europe experiencing such severity. The costs amount to at least 1 billion pounds, but it is likely much higher. Only a fraction of the thefts are reported.
Poverty in the UK has been increasing since the banking crisis in 2008. The government has cut social provisions, leading to longer waiting lists for healthcare. Access to mental health services and addiction support has also been delayed, resulting in a rise in homelessness.
Furthermore, food prices have risen by over 19 percent in just one year. A British citizen now spends at least a thousand euros more on food annually. In addition, mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed, and rental prices have soared. The conflict in Ukraine has also significantly raised energy prices across the Channel.
As a result, many citizens in the United Kingdom are struggling immensely. Despite working full-time, they can barely make ends meet. And so, sometimes they take a few groceries without paying.