'Epidemic of retail crime': The women and children trafficked to shoplift in the UK

FILE: A retail worker helps to prepare stock in a clothes shop in London on December 1, 2020 Organised criminal gangs have been found trafficking women and children in the UK for large-scale shoplifting, exacerbating an alarming surge in retail crime, while a grim reality of human trafficking unfolds. Women and children from Eastern Europe are being trafficked in large numbers to the UK, and put to work by organised crime gangs to carry out large-scale shoplifting operations. Police, and charities who work with vulnerable people, say many trafficked people are also pressganged into pickpocketing, begging and selling drugs; and that thousands more young asylum seekers who arrived in the UK unaccompanied are at risk of further exploitation by criminal gangs. In one high-profile case, authorities say an Eastern European criminal gang based in Glasgow has recruited 154 thieves since its discovery in 2019. The gang strategically targets retailers in major cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Darlington, and various locations across the North and Scotland. The gang’s activities were first reported by BBC Scotland. Non-profit organisation Retailers Against Crime (RAC) which detects and prevents criminal activity by sharing information among its members, told Euronews that they receive intelligence from partners about individuals that are committing high-value bulk thefts of various items. “The results from the reports show that these individuals are travelling country-wide committing crimes,” RAC said. Without a trace: The nameless graves along the Balkan migration route Asylum seeker dies on Bibby Stockholm ‘floating prison’ housing migrants in UK ‘They were drowning’: Spanish hero saves migrants forced off speedboat at gunpoint Epidemic of retail crime Retail thefts are on the rise in the UK, with shoplifting up 25% year-on-year in England and Wales, while Scotland saw a 21% increase compared to the year before, according to a recent […]

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By Donato