OUR SAY: Response to shoplifting problem needs to be give and take

THE motivation behind why people shoplift needs to be addressed before any solution to the growing problem in Orange can be found. 

People write shoplifters off as children who have nothing better to do with their time and no money, but the assumption is incorrect. 

According to Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data, only 15 per cent of shoplifters in Orange were children .

Orange police arrested 147 adults in relation to shoplifting in 2013. 

Clearly the Orange Target Action group is doing its job and arresting thieves, but that stills begs the questions, why are Orange’s statistics much worse than Bathurst’s?

The large difference between the longer-term rate of shoplifting in Orange, with its ranking as fourth worst in the state, and Bathurst, way down the list at 20th despite its similar demographic, reveals Orange has a big problem with retail theft which must be addressed.

The courts are full of people who steal because they find themselves in a situation where they are desperate and quite often it is because of drug and alcohol addiction.

STORY: ORANGE TURNING INTO A DEN OF THIEVES

Once criminals hit the courts, quite often they are referred to specialists who run rehabilitation programs but those services need to be available to people before they hit the courtroom. 

People need to know how to access those services. 

Ashcroft’s Supa IGA owner Ian Ashcroft called on more community service orders to be handed out to people who thieve 

Shoplifting is not a victimless crime.

It’s not the stores that suffer, it’s the customers that wear the true costs when prices go up to make up for the lost goods and extra money is spent on heightened and often intrusive security measures.

Perhaps if shoplifters worked with community members who have paid their way they will learn the benefits of earning money and contributing positively to society rather than feeling the world owes them something.

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