Spain has one of the highest rates of store thefts in Europe: report

Spain has the third-highest rate of store thefts in Europe and the sixth-highest worldwide according to a new report.

Spain has one of the highest rates of store thefts in Europe: report
People shopping in Ibiza. Photo: Jaime Reina / AFP.

Spain lost nearly €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) to theft, or 1.33 percent of sales, according to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer released on Wednesday.

In Europe, Spain fell behind just the Netherlands and Finland for the percentage of sales lost to theft.

The study was conducted by analysts from research firm The Smart Cube and retail services company Checkpoint Systems. Researchers conducted interviews with more than 200 retailers across 24 countries worldwide.

The average rate of “shrink” – losses due to shoplifting, fraud or administrative errors – worldwide was 1.23 percent.

Mexico topped the charts worldwide, at 1.68 percent. Norway had the lowest rate among the countries surveyed at 0.75 percent.

In Spain, the cost of retail crime and its prevention amounts to about 2.21 percent of store overhead, or about €4.14 billion across the country – the equivalent of €238 for each Spanish family.

Still, thefts have declined in Spain in recent years with the Interior Ministry reporting a drop of 5.16 percent between 2013 and 2014.

The theft barometer also showed that the percentage of revenue lost to theft decreased this year, down from 1.36 percent in 2014.

The biggest cause of loss was shoplifting, at 52 percent. Administrative errors was the second greatest cause at 25 percent, followed by employee theft at 18 percent. Fraud by suppliers accounted for 5 percent.

The clothing items stolen most were shoes, lingerie, sunglasses and handbags while smartphones were some of the most stolen electronic items.

Top ten countries by percentage of shrink (2014-2015)

1. Mexico – 1.68%

2. The Netherlands – 1.48%

3. Finland – 1.38%

4. China – 1.35% 

5. Japan – 1.35%

6. Spain – 1.33%

7. United States – 1.27%

8. Sweden – 1.20%

9. Belgium – 1.19%

10. Russia – 1.18%

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Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

A Spanish court has jailed a woman for five years for repeatedly filing false reports about her ex-husband sexually abusing their daughter.

Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

According to El Mundo daily, the sentence was unprecedented in Spain.

In a ruling handed down by a court in the southern city of Granada which was seen by AFP on Wednesday, the unnamed woman was convicted of filing false allegations, offences against moral integrity and abandonment of parental responsibility.

She was also ordered to pay €40,000 ($42,000) each to the child and her father for the harm caused by her unfounded allegations, which were aimed at securing sole custody of her daughter, now nine.

The court also took away the mother’s parental responsibility for 10 years on grounds she posed “a threat to (her daughter’s) development”, according to court documents dated Monday.

The woman had filed eight reports to the police and the courts over a two-year period, accusing her husband of abuse and on one occasion rape as they were in the throes of getting divorced.

She also took her daughter to be examined by doctors and psychologists on 10 separate occasions.

None of them ever found any evidence of the alleged abuse.

The ongoing gynaecological and psychological examinations had an impact on the child’s “psychological stability and her performance at school”, according to the court documents.

The aim was to “obtain the sole and exclusive custody” of their daughter.

The sentence, which can be appealed, described the mother as a person with a predisposition for “lying” who displayed “shameless cynicism” and “cunning malice with obsessive overtones”.

The couple married in 2010 and had a daughter in 2012. But they split up in 2017 and the problems began a year later when the father, an English teacher, requested joint custody.

After his ex-wife began filing the false allegations against him, he lost most of his students along with his “emotion stability, peace of mind and sense of calm”, the court found.

“It’s like being buried alive,” he told El Mundo.

“It’s trying to kill someone without laying a finger on them… accusing them of the vilest, worst thing that a human being can do: harming your own daughter.”