Effects of Shoplifting in the Community Essays

Jan 10, 2009 Filed under:Custom essay samples — admin @ 7:01 am

Effects of Shoplifting in the Community Essays

The Diebstabl form of shoplifting probably accounts for a considerable part of the official increase in theft. As self-service merchandising has spread throughout the Western industrialized societies, shoplifting has become an increasingly serious problem. It is reported to be very common, for example, in the Federal German Republic. Kaiser estimates that such offenses average more than 1 million annually and that the value of the goods stolen from stores and self-service shops total 75 million marks. Swiss authorities have become increasingly alarmed about shoplifting increases. The people themselves feel it is increasing, as indicated by the responses in the attitude survey. The problem appears to be less serious in Switzerland, where the estimated loss is slightly less than 3 percent of the merchandise, than in the United States where it runs between 4 and 6 percent, including employee theft. Stephani's study of shoplifting of groceries and general merchandise in Migros ( Switzerland's largest supermarket chain) stores in the cantons of Bern, Aargau, and Solothurn found that one in every 430 Migros customers was a shoplifter. This study concluded that three times as many foreigners (particularly foreign workers) were apprehended for this offense as were native Swiss, although the Swiss were found to steal more expensive items than the foreign-born.

A significant factor in the rapid increase of shoplifting in Switzerland is that as of 1977 wide use was not made of the increasingly sophisticated and extensive security measures found in the United States. Virtually unknown, for example, are metal tags that stores can attach to garments. These are electrically activated at exits unless removed by the sales staff, thus alerting the management to an attempted shoplifting. Even expensive items such as Scotch whiskeys and brandies are sold on a self-service basis, and in most cases the use of closed-circuit television cameras is confined to some new supermarkets. Uniformed exit security guards are almost nonexistent, and passageways in many discount stores are set at such angles that customers cannot possibly be closely observed -- although in some stores customers can be observed from raised booths.

Another factor that contributes to increased shoplifting is the likelihood that an apprehended offender generally will not be prosecuted if the value of the stolen goods is minor. The case will often be considered as petty theft, and prosecution will be only upon the request of the victim. Although offenders who take items of greater value will be officially prosecuted, authorities in the past have generally advised shops not to press charges for first offenders.

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