Recently, images of plastic screens installed at a FairPrice outlet in Bukit Batok made rounds on social media, causing quite a stir in Singapore.
Responding to media queries, FairPrice clarified that the screens were installed to prevent shoplifting.
The authorities have since provided additional context to the situation, sharing that there were 80 cases of milk powder theft at supermarkets and grocers in 2022.
Most of those who stole the milk powder tins would reportedly resell them to turn a profit.
In response to MS News queries last week, FairPrice says they have been trialling the new initiative for two weeks and are considering extending the measure.
Interestingly, CNA reports that they have noted similar screens erected at a FairPrice outlet in Boon Lay Shopping Centre.
The theft-deterring screens have raised concerns online — some netizens felt that it’s a sign that some parents were unable to afford milk formula that their kids required.
Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai addressed some of these concerns in a Facebook video on 20 Dec.
In the video, he explains how the issue has been sensationalised and made to look as if there were parents who were unable to afford infant formula.
After clarifying with the police, Mr Pillai shared that those who have stolen milk powder tins often resell them.
He also assures that his constituency, Bukit Batok SMC, has schemes to help low-income families with necessities.
In response to CNA queries, the police reported a decline in milk powder theft cases from 2021 to 2022:
These theft cases come up to an estimated loss of S$26,000 and S$27,000 respectively.
The police also shared that most offenders were aged between 20s to 40s, with about 35% of the cases carried out in groups of two or more.
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Featured image adapted from Parents.
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