Shoplifting: Coronavirus

Home Office written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops on rates of shoplifting during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reported on its website on 30 September 2020 that provisional data from police forces in England and Wales showed a reduction in crime during the months of strict lockdown measures but that levels are now returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. This data showed a significant and sustained drop in the recording of shoplifting compared to last year with the most recent iteration showing a 30% drop.

The NPCC do not report specifically on how mask coverings have affected these trends. Given the potential varied levels of compliance of the wearing of face coverings at retail locations a correlation between the levels of shoplifting and the wearing of face masks is unlikely to be identified in recorded crime at a national level.

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