Some customers have been surprised to find security tags on blocks of cheese and tubs of butter in the U.K.

Driving the news: With inflation climbing higher and higher, security tags normally found on high-value meats, alcohol and cosmetics are now being placed on typically cheaper items in some stores in the U.K. Social media users have shared photos of the security tags at certain locations of stores like Aldi and Asda, per Insider.

  • Supermarkets in the U.K. have grown increasingly concerned about shoplifters hitting their stores and stealing low-value items as the cost of living skyrockets, according to The Independent.
  • The U.K. is facing the worst inflation it’s seen in 40 years at 9.1%, the highest it’s been since 1982, per The Independent.
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What they’re saying: A spokesman for British food retailer Co-op justified the use of security tags, saying, “Co-op has been involved in a small scale trial of new packaging for higher value products for well over a year, with the additional security providing a further deterrent if a store locally experiences shoplifting issues,” per The Independent.

  • Andy Cooke, chief inspector of constabulary in the U.K., advised officers to use “discretion” in cases of food burglary, saying, “I think whenever you see an increase in the cost of living or whenever you see more people dropping into poverty, I think you’ll invariably see a rise in crime. And that’s going to be a challenge for policing to deal with,” The Guardian reported.
  • Residents have taken to Twitter to express their experiences with the increased security. One user shared a photo of lamb chops, claiming that the store they went to placed GPS protected tags on them and captioning the photo with the hashtag “#CostOfLivingCrisis.”
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Details: Baby formula is also being tagged in some U.K. stores, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, due to the recent shortage caused by supply chain issues, according to The Independent.

  • The U.S. recently had 78,000 pounds of formula imported from Europe in efforts to relieve the shortage, the Deseret News reported.

By the numbers: “ surveyed some 700 small businesses (in the U.S.) and found that 54% had an increase in shoplifting last year. Twenty-three percent said it happens daily,” The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.