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Police should exercise “discretion” with shoplifters in light of the cost of living crisis

Andy Cooke, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said petty crime, fueled by the cost of living crisis, would pose a challenge for police as more people fall into poverty

There are fears that more and more families could fall into poverty as the cost-of-living crisis deepens
It is feared that more families could fall into poverty as the cost-of-living crisis deepens (stock photo)

Police should exercise “discretion” when deciding whether to prosecute desperate shoplifters amid rising poverty, the new HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary has suggested.

Andy Cooke said petty crime fueled by the cost of living crisis would pose a challenge for police as inflation hit a 40-year high in April.

Mr Cooke said: “I think whenever you see the cost of living going up or you see more people sliding down into poverty, I think you’re always going to see crime going up.

“And that’s going to be a challenge for the police.”

Speaking of his advice for officials, Mr Cooke added: “You have to consider what is best for the community and for that individual when dealing with these issues.






Andy Cooke said petty crime fueled by the cost of living crisis would pose a challenge for police as inflation hit a 40-year high in April

“And I certainly fully support cops when they exercise discretion – and they need to exercise discretion more often.”

Mr Cooke told The Guardian he wasn’t giving people carte blanche to shoplift, but wanted officers to make sure cases were “handled in the best way possible”.

He added that he hopes to increase the current rate of 6% for registered crimes to 20% and ensure that every burglary victim receives a visit from the police.

It comes after a council declared an official declaration of emergency amid the cost of living crisis as use of their food banks soared.

Eastbourne Foodbank has distributed more packages per capita than any other this year as the cost of living crisis deepens, the Trussell Trust network says.







Inflation hit a 40-year high in April as the cost-of-living crisis soared
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Picture:

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The food bank, a lifeline for some families now struggling more than ever, distributed 17,440 emergency food parcels per 100,000 people last year, the charity added.

Councilor Josh Babarinde said the declaration of emergency would help Eastbourne Borough Council work more effectively with charities. reports The Independent.

He said: “We need immediate action from the government – they need to recognize that this cost of the crisis has become an emergency because of their inaction.

“Every day people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t know how I’m doing.’ There are parents who skip meals all the time so their kids can eat.”

Councilor Babarinde said he spoke to residents who avoid using household appliances in their home to save on energy bills.







Eastbourne Foodbank has distributed more packages per capita than any other this year as the cost of living crisis deepens
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Picture:

Alamy Stock Photo)

He said an elderly lady chose to keep her television off – it was her only company living alone.

The council’s motion is expected to lead to an emergency summit on the cost of living in Eastbourne, where charities and food banks can work together to find ways to ease the burden on residents.

The motion also calls for Westminster to introduce a national windfall tax on oil and gas company profits.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-should-use-discretion-shoplifters-27004960 Police should exercise "discretion" with shoplifters in light of the cost of living crisis

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