Hard-up Brits steal MILK as supermarkets put security tags on butter amid cost-of-living crisis 

Hard-up Brits steal MILK as supermarkets put security tags on butter amid cost-of-living crisis

  • A growing number of everyday groceries like butter are being security-tagged
  • Shoplifting increased by 18 per cent over the summer according to the ONS
  • Police in Scotland arrested two people for stealing bottles of milk this week 

Two people were charged for stealing milk this week – as supermarkets lock up everyday essentials in an attempt to deter shoplifters amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Police in Scotland announced they had arrested two people stealing around 30 bottles of milk.

Glasgow North Police tweeted: ‘Two persons have been charged and will be reported to the procurator fiscal for numerous thefts of milk and other crimes of dishonesty in the Milton area.’

Security tags are now being found on items such as milk, cheese and eggs, as their prices have risen by 27 per cent compared to last year.

Tesco shoppers reported that security tags have been fixed to milk, though the retailer later said this was a mistake, and tags have been seen on blocks of Aldi cheddar this year.

This comes after the price of luxury butter brand Lurpak began to soar beyond £7, leading to Asda putting security measures in place over the summer.

The latest data shows that shoplifting increased by 18 per cent in the year to the end of June compared with the previous 12-month period, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Grocery price inflation also hit a record 14.7 per cent last month, adding an extra £682 to the average annual shopping bill.

Glasgow North Police posted this image and said two people have been arrested on suspicion of 'numerous thefts of milk and other crimes of dishonesty

Glasgow North Police posted this image and said two people have been arrested on suspicion of ‘numerous thefts of milk and other crimes of dishonesty

Supermarkets across the UK have been cracking down on theft of dairy products as shoplifting rose by 18 per cent over the summer compared with the previous 12-month period (Packs of butter with security tags earlier this year)

Supermarkets across the UK have been cracking down on theft of dairy products as shoplifting rose by 18 per cent over the summer compared with the previous 12-month period (Packs of butter with security tags earlier this year)

Security tags were fitted to four pint bottles of milk in Tesco Extra in Pool this week

Security tags were fitted to four pint bottles of milk in Tesco Extra in Pool this week

The ONS also revealed last week that households are now paying 90 per cent more for gas, electricity and other fuels.

Online people have expressed concerns that those stealing items like diary products are doing so because they are not able to cope with the rising cost of living.

However others, including some people claiming to work in stores, said that such items are often flogged by small-time criminals.

One Twitter user said: ‘Nobody ever died from not having butter’.

While another Twitter commentator said: ‘Anybody who thinks shoplifters are desperate people stealing to survive has never been in a rough working-class pub on a Friday night and seen them flogging cheese and packs of bacon.’ 

Shoppers were shocked to discover Co-Op is now keeping washing machine tablets and detergent in security boxes at one of its stores in Manchester city centre. Photographs show Ariel, Bold and Persil products costing as little as £3.50 on shelves under lock-and-key

Shoppers were shocked to discover Co-Op is now keeping washing machine tablets and detergent in security boxes at one of its stores in Manchester city centre. Photographs show Ariel, Bold and Persil products costing as little as £3.50 on shelves under lock-and-key

Baby milk brands, such as Aptamil and Cow and Gate, have also been placed in security cases at some Co-Op stores (pictured). The tubs of formula range from £10.25 to £18 for 800g

Baby milk brands, such as Aptamil and Cow and Gate, have also been placed in security cases at some Co-Op stores (pictured). The tubs of formula range from £10.25 to £18 for 800g

In July shoppers took to social media to share pictures of security tags on £3.99 blocks of Aldi cheddar (left) and £8 Co-op lamb chops in Wolverhampton (right)

In July shoppers took to social media to share pictures of security tags on £3.99 blocks of Aldi cheddar (left) and £8 Co-op lamb chops in Wolverhampton (right)

Security tags are often used on expensive items or dangerous items in supermarkets such as alcohol, razors and even perfume.

The tags can only be removed once a person has paid and a sales assistant has removed the box. If a person were to take a security tagged item out the shop without paying, a loud alarm would sound.

At Co-Op, washing detergent and baby milk brands, such as Aptamil and Cow and Gate, have also been placed in security cases.

The tubs of formula milk powder range from £10.25 to £18 for 800g.

A Co-Op spokesperson told MailOnline this ‘not a UK-wide policy’ and that the company has ‘ seen no rise in instances of theft.’

Shoppers in a Tesco store were somewhat taken aback to find milk containers security tagged

Shoppers in a Tesco store were somewhat taken aback to find milk containers security tagged

It was revealed this week that milk cartons in the Tesco Extra store in the village of Pool in Cornwall were fitted with individual plastic security tags.

CornwallLive reported that the store has suffered a spate of thefts of milk – especially of four-pint containers.

But Tesco denied this was the reason for the tagging, telling CornwallLive it was down to ‘human error’.

A Tesco spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We do not have a policy to place security tags on fresh milk. A very small amount of milk was incorrectly tagged today in our Redruth Extra store and these tags have now been removed. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.’

Earlier this month the supermarket chain started using security barriers to protect Tesco workers from shoppers waiting to snatch reduced yellow sticker items from their hands before they hit the shelves.

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