Shopping items worth a total of £3.2bn are stolen through self-service checkouts every year, according to new research.
A study of 2,532 people, conducted by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, found that the average Briton steals £23 worth of items a month, a £5 increase on figures from 2014.
The total amount of items stolen in 2017 has more than doubled over the past three years, increasing from £1.3bn a year to £3.2bn, it revealed.
Some 23% of respondents admitted to having stolen from the self-service checkout in the past and 46% claimed to do so on a regular basis.
The study found there were many reasons why people stole through self checkouts. Of those who admitted to stealing, 40% did so because they knew they could get away with it, while a further 18% said they didn’t have the money to pay for their items.
Sixty two per cent stole because an item wouldn’t scan, while 36% said they forgot to scan an item. The most commonly stolen items were toiletries, fruit and vegetables and dairy items.
VoucherCodes founder George Charles said: “The amount stolen annually has sky-rocketed since 2014, from £1.3bn to over £3.2bn.
“The economy may not be in top shape currently and money may be tight, but that is no excuse to start stealing your weekly shop instead of paying for it. Stores may want to reconsider just how many store assistants they have manning their self-service stations.”