Calpol most shoplifted item by ‘desperate’ parents in London borough

  • london
  • April 20, 2023
  • Comments Off on Calpol most shoplifted item by ‘desperate’ parents in London borough
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Calpol is the item most stolen from shops in an East London borough, according to a review of food insecurity in the area.

The report from Tower Hamlets Council lays bare the impact of the cost of living crisis on desperate families in the capital.

It also describes how rising prices have had an effect in more unexpected ways, such as increasing experience of loneliness.

The theft of essential baby products is also on the rise, the report said.

Tower Hamlets is among the poorest boroughs in London, and its poverty rate of 39% is one of the highest in the country.

It also has the highest child poverty rate in the UK, and highest rate of elderly people who live in low income households, according to the review.

Describing the effects of ‘desperation’, it said: ‘Shoplifting of essential items and medicine have increased.

‘The number one shoplifting item according to Safer Neighbourhood Team is Calpol.’

Last October, the chief executive of the London-based charity Little Village said some families were having to limit their baby to one nappy a day in an effort to save cash.

Sophie Livingstone told the Camden New Journal: ‘We’ve seen the increase in referrals and a vast upswing in grim situations and horrible circumstances.

‘It’s babies in one nappy a day and babies getting sores because they’ve been kept in one nappy.’

In the 12 weeks leading up to August 19 last year, the price of leading nappy products rocketed up by as much as 60%.

The particular strain on families with young children has led to the creation of ‘baby banks’, which offer essentials like clothes, toys and equipment up to the age of five.

Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: ‘Reports of Calpol being stolen from shops are utterly devastating.

‘It shows how much the cost-of-living crisis is hurting our residents when they cannot afford basic medicines for their children.’

Elsewhere in the report, it was highlighted that demand for cold tinned food at food banks has increased, as people are ‘preferring cold food over using energy to heat or cook food’.

The review also described a rise in loneliness, saying: ‘Due to cost of living situation many residents stated that they avoid inviting guests to their houses.

‘On the other hand, some people have refused invitations because they are unable to afford to reciprocate.

‘This is reducing the opportunities for social interaction within some communities, hence creating loneliness and isolation which is likely to have a significant impact on residents health and wellbeing.’

The latest figures for inflation in the UK, released yesterday, showed food prices had increased by 19.1% year-on-year, the sharpest jump in more than 45 years.

Inflation as a whole fell from 10.4% in February to 10.1% in March, a less significant fall than had been predicted by economists.

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