Drug addicts and alcoholics have been blamed for an increase in shoplifting in South Yorkshire.
Police chiefs in Rotherham have dismissed suggestions the 30 per cent increase could be down to unemployment and poverty and say analysis of the culprits has revealed that addicts are responsible.
Offences have rises from about 100 a month to 130 during the last year, with coffee, deodorant, meat and alcohol the most commonly stolen items.
Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth said more officers are now working in the town centre and with businesses in the town to try to reduce offending.
“Rotherham has always had relatively low shoplifting figures but there has been a gradual rise since 2011 and the last 12 month especially, bringing us up to par with other towns and cities of the same size,” he said.
“We have looked at whether it’s down to economic circumstances, unemployment, new communities moving in but officers tasked with dealing with shoplifting say it is down to drug abuse, especially heroin and other Class A drugs, as well as alcohol abuse.
“A lot of what is stolen can be sold on easily and quickly.
“We want to know where these are being sold.”