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Images show how the cases have been used to lock up items including blocks of Cathedral City Cheddar, costing £2.50, and Co-op's own Red Leicester, which costs £4.00, at the store in Bentilee - where other products like meat are also stored in the plastic boxes.
Experts from Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent say they are ‘not surprised’ by the measures, saying there are an increasing number of people struggling to meet the costs of everyday life.
Chief executive Simon Harris told StokeonTrentLive: "It’s not something we have had direct experience of but I am not surprised.
"I think there are an awful lot of people in the city, and we are seeing increasing numbers, who are really struggling to meet their basic day-to-day living costs.
"With the increases in fuel prices, council tax, rent and so on - it’s squeezing household budgets beyond reasonable levels and I think people may find themselves having to resort to extreme measures just in order to survive.
"I am not surprised shops are finding themselves having to do this. If shops think that it is a serious enough problem and this would deter people from shoplifting then that’s what they have to do.
"I’m not sure if it’s a solution, the solution would be removing the need and to put more money in the pockets of the poorest families in the city.
"Poorer families are, and will find it harder to, cover their basic living costs. We’ve seen this building for a while, probably for several years. We’ve seen the usage of food banks increase dramatically.
"There are three things we’d advise people to do. The first is to check that they are getting all the money they are entitled to - and we can help them do that.
"Secondly, have a look at your weekly budget and see if there’s anything left in there that isn’t essential and whether you can cut back to free up some money for essentials.
"Thirdly, make sure you are given the support you are entitled to.
"For example, we’ve been giving out fuel vouchers which have come from the city council’s household fund and there’s the £150 council tax rebate coming at some time in the near future."
However, a Co-Op spokesperson stressed that the measure has nothing to do with the current cost of living crisis.
They told LADbible: "Long before the cost of living crisis some stores have been involved in a small scale trial of new packaging for higher value products such as meats if they are stolen.
"The pilot has been running for over a year and was part of our Safer Colleagues campaign which has been campaigning for greater protection for shopworkers (and has succeeded in getting the Government to bring in stricter sentences for violent incidents against shopworkers).
"It is not a response to cost of living crisis and would be inaccurate to claim as such.
"Safety and security for our colleagues and customers is a number one priority and crime can be a flashpoint for violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour towards frontline shopworkers and this latest technology acts as deterrence."