Theft rates soar in Poland

Two main factors are thought to be driving robberies in Poland

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Rzeczpospolita
via: i.pl
Source: pexels.com

The number of thefts in Poland is on the rise, with inflation cited as a primary cause, according to Rzeczpospolita. However, inflation is not the sole factor contributing to this uptick. Another significant reason is the adjustment of the legal threshold for theft to be classified as a criminal offense, which has been raised to 800 zlotys (€186). If a thief steals under that amount, it will not be treated as a criminal offense, which critics say incentivizes theft.

Statistics from the National Police Headquarters reveal a concerning trend: Over 40,000 thefts were recorded in stores in 2023, marking a 22.2 percent increase from 2022 and a staggering 60 percent rise from 2021 figures.

Moreover, 2023 saw 278,500 instances of shoplifting classified as misdemeanors, up 16.9 percent from 2022 and a 45.4 percent increase over 2021.

Since October 2023, stealing items worth up to 800 zlotys is considered a misdemeanor, while stealing items of higher value constitutes a felony.

This legal adjustment allows courts to convict individuals of the crime of theft if, for example, they commit three robberies, each involving goods worth 300 zlotys.

Police data also highlights the most common amounts involved in theft crimes reported in 2023.

Stealing goods worth some 600 zlotys (€140) were the most frequent, with 579 such incidents recorded. This was followed by thefts of items valued at 520 zlotys with 507 cases, and 550 zlotys with 391 cases reported.

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