Ruth Mitchell

Black market pub trade worth £1 billion

5.6 million Britons admit to purchasing goods illegally in pubs, and 3.7 million would happily buy goods knowing they were stolen if the price was right. 2.4 million wouldn’t even be deterred if the goods obviously came from someone’s house. The survey, conducted by Halifax Home Insurance, reveals that Britons have spent almost £1 billion on buying goods from unlicensed traders in pubs. Just one in five of those who purchased the goods asked where they came from, and more than half of all British adults said they would not report someone they believed was selling goods illegally to the police. DVDs, CDs, videos, clothing, consumer electrical items, mobile phones and jewellery are the most common illegitimate purchases. The average buyer spends £168 per item, and over 116,000 adults have spent more than £2,500 on goods from black market traders in pubs. Criminologist Professor Martin Gill, of Leicester University said: “Offenders often tell me that selling stolen goods is easy because people rarely question the legitimacy or history of the goods that they are buying. Either they fail to the make the link that the goods could have come from someone’s home, or most likely, they take the attitude that out of sight is out of mind. By choosing to turn a blind eye in return for a bargain, normal law abiding people are effectively sustaining a market for thieves to exist and fuelling incidents of theft and burglary across the UK each year.”

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