Shoplifting affects many of today’s youth, whether they have shoplifted before or not. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), 90% young adults and teenagers under 18 say they know other children who have shoplifted in the past. 65% of those also claim to hangout with others who shoplift. So whether our children do it or not, shoplifting is something that affects us all.
One way to prevent shoplifting is educating children, especially those who have done it, on how exactly shoplifting negatively impacts their lives and the lives of others around them. Educating young people on shoplifting has proven to be a very effective method of preventing shoplifting recidivism. By using offense and age specific programs to educate children, we can combat shoplifting by addressing the root cause of it. It has been shown that children who are caught shoplifting and are then put through these education programs are ten times less likely to repeat. Such programs include the Crime Accountability Program (CAP), which is offered by Turning Point Justice in collaboration with NASP and which has partnered with several retailers.
Another benefit of turning to these programs is that it allows the children who are caught shoplifting avoid damaging marks on their records. Such marks can then become an issue if the child has grown up to learn from and regret their actions and in many cases it can keep the child from being eligible for higher education or scholarships.
Currently, 55% of adult shoplifters, according to NASP, admit that their first offenses occurred when they were teenagers. Also, many children who shoplift do so because of peer pressure. Collaboration from parents and retailers, who also have a vested interest in lowering rates, can go a long way toward stopping shoplifting.