July 22, 2013


The Herald has a story headlined “The high cost of shoplifting in NZ“, which is very similar to the story in Stuff in May that we commented on back then.

We get the figure for total theft from the Retailers Association again, with a similar lack of detail as to what it measures and how, but now without even the estimate of what proportion of it is shoplifting vs theft by staff that was provided in May.  Again there is a set of high-profile or high-value examples given, but now two of the five are from other countries.

The other change is that we now are told that prosecutions for shoplifting have fallen by 20-25% over the past four years, but there is no information on how this relates to the Retailers Association estimate — do they think theft has gone down, and if not, why not?


Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »


  • avatar
    Jeremy Rose

    There’s also the question of retailers making false claims. Admittedly this would be limited to owner-operated stores. But a dishonest retailer would have a lot to gain by selling an item for cash, declaring it stolen – thus avoiding tax and possibly claiming insurance.

    4 years ago