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Theft and shoplifting

During 2015, approximately 50,400 thefts from shops were reported, an increase by 3 per cent as compared with the preceding year. The thefts often involve small amounts and most thefts from shops are therefore considered to be shoplifting.

Reported thefts

Reported offences of theft and shoplifting in shops, department stores, and suchlike, as well as pickpocketing, 2006 – 2015. Source: Reported offences

During 2015, 50,400 thefts from shops and shoplifting incidents were reported, which is an increase by 3 per cent as compared with 2014. The number of reported thefts from shops has varied during the most recent ten-year period, but a somewhat downward trend has been seen during the most recent years, and the number is now 10 per cent lower than it was ten years ago.

During 2015, 52,200 pickpocketing incidents were reported. This is a reduction by 2 per cent as compared with the preceding year (-1,180 offences). The number of reported pickpocketing offences has increased by 31 per cent since 2006.

Cleared thefts

Person-based clearance rate² for theft and shoplifting in shops, department stores, and suchlike, as well as pickpocketing, 2006 – 2015. Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

In 2015, 50,200 thefts from shops were processed.¹ An investigation was commenced for 81 per cent (40,800) of the processed offences, while 19 per cent (9,440 offences) were dismissed with no investigation. Investigations were limited for a relatively large percentage of the thefts from shops as compared with other types of offences: 12 per cent (5,950 offences), with the majority (5,220 offences) after investigation was commenced.

Theft from shops and shoplifting differ from other theft and types of stealing, which are characterised by a low percentage of processed offences with suspected persons. In 2015, there was one reasonably suspected person registered for 67 per cent (33,700) of the processed offences. Since a suspected person has often already been identified as early as at the time of reporting, a large percentage of these offences have person-based clearances when compared with other types of offences.

There were person-based clearances² for 23,400 thefts from shops in 2015. The person-based clearance rate for thefts from shops in 2014 was 47 per cent, which was a decline by 1 percentage point as compared with the preceding year, but the same level as as ten years ago.

Persons suspected of theft

Number of persons suspected of theft and shoplifting in shops, department stores, and suchlike, as well as pickpocketing, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

In 2015, 20,500 persons were suspected of theft from shops and shoplifting, which is 1,050 persons (5%) more than 2014. The number of persons suspected of theft from shops and shoplifting has varied from year to year, and a peak of 25,900 suspected persons was reached during the most recent ten-year period. As is the case for number of other types of offences, the temporary decline in 2007 was largely a result of a reorganisation of the public prosecutor's matter handling system that year.

Persons found guilty of theft offences

Number of conviction decisions³ of theft (including aggravated) or shoplifting as the primary offence, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons found guilty of offences

Convictions

Since theft from shops is not a specific legal category, it is not possible to discern how many persons have been found guilty specifically of theft from shops.

In 2015, 8,160 conviction decisions of theft (including aggravated theft) were issued and 12,700 conviction decisions of shoplifting. As compared with 2014, conviction decisions of both theft as well as shoplifting have remained at roughly the same level, both show a a decline of 0.5 per cent.

The most common sanctions were summary sanction orders and fines through judicial decisions.

Shoplifting by young people

In Brå's school survey, approximately one in five pupils stated that they had stolen or shoplifted from a shop or department store during the most recent 12 months (2011).

¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.

²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.

  • The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences.
  • The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.

³) The statistic regarding persons found guilty of offences reports the number of convictions which were issued during the year. "Conviction decision" means a conviction in a district court or decision of a public prosecutor, such as a summary sanction order or waiver of prosecution, during one calendar year. A single individual may be found guilty of an offence in different ways and on several occasions during one year. A conviction decision may contain decisions regarding several offences and several sanctions.

Facts

  • 53,400 pickpocketings were reported to the police (2014)
  • 40,900 thefts from shops were reported to the police (2014)
  • 12,400 conviction decisions of shoplifting (2013)
  • SEK 1000 – the line between shoplifting and theft (changed from SEK 800 by the Supreme Court in September 2009)
  • 48 per cent = person-based clearance rate for theft from shops (2014)
  • 37 per cent of the person suspected of theft from shops are women (2014)
  • 1 per cent = person-based clearance rate for pickpocketing (2014)
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