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The Fed’s vice president Mo Razzaq recently took part in a Times and Sunday Times sponsored podcast to discuss the shoplifting epidemic that is sweeping the UK.

Mr Razzaq was interviewed by presenter Manveen Rana on the Stories of our times podcast, alongside Sunday Times consumer affairs editor Louise Eccles, on October 5.

He said: “Shoplifting has exploded. It’s the worst it has ever been.

“We used to have five cases of shoplifting a week, but that has ballooned to 25 a week. That amount of thefts can cause a business to close for good. It’s not a sustainable business model any more.”

Ms Rana questioned whether the increase in shoplifting was as a direct result of the cost of living crisis, to which Mr Razzaq replied: “There are two types of people – those who are desperate because they have nothing in the house. They come to us and we give them what they need.

“However, for over 90 percent of shoplifters it’s nothing to do with poverty, they do it because they know they can get away with it.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

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