Fed-up Co-op staff say that meat is repeatedly being stolen from their stores and more action is needed to catch and deal with the thieves brazenly walking and helping themselves to joints, steaks and burgers.

Terry Eastcott, Co-op Manager invited Daniel Zeichner MP to see the security measures the store has in place and meet worried shop workers. He argues shoplifting should be taken especially seriously because it is the top trigger for violence against shop workers.

Mr Eastcott knows from CCTV footage that many of the thieves come back multiple times. This tallies with national figures showing over three quarters of criminals stealing from local shops are repeat offenders.

Yet the Ministry of Justice has published data on the number of penalty notices issued for shop theft under £100, showing a whopping 95% decline over the last ten years.

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “The policy of giving fixed penalty notices to shop thieves has failed. We need a new approach that recognises that the theft may be the symptom of an underlying cause like drug addiction and that actually fixes the problem rather than leaving shop workers frightened and everyone else picking up the bill.”

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