“New ideas needed from Government and police” as convenience stores report almost one million shop thefts

The Association of Convenience Stores’ 2018 Crime Report has revealed a significant rise in the number of shop thefts committed against retailers over the last year, with shop theft increasingly being linked to aggressive behaviour towards retailers and their staff. The 2018 Crime Report shows that shop theft can often lead to abusive and violent behaviour, with retailers reporting that challenging shop thieves was the biggest cause of aggressive behaviour in stores.

In total, there have been over 13,437 incidents of violence reported over the last year, although it’s likely that many more incidents have gone unreported. Retailers have reported that violence against staff is the foremost threat that they’re really concerned about when dealing with crime.

There were over 950,000 incidents of theft reported over the last year, rising from 575,000 in the previous year, with the Top Three reasons reported by retailers as to why people steal from their stores being opportunism (36%), motivation due to an alcohol or drug addiction (32%) and organised crime (22%).

The Association of Convenience Stores’ CEO James Lowman said: “Retailers and their staff are facing violence and abuse on a regular basis for enforcing the law, whether it be through challenging shop thieves, refusing the sale of age-restricted products like tobacco and alcohol or refusing to serve people who are intoxicated. Retailers need a consistent response from the police to ensure that, when a crime is committed against a retailer, it’s taken seriously by the police and the courts.”

Lowman continued: “Shop thefts in particular are often being committed by people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, or part of an organised gang, with many now unafraid to turn to violence when challenged. Allowing shop theft to go unpunished means that these people go on to commit other offences, and where they have addiction problems they’re not treated. We need fresh thinking from Government and the police on this matter, because when shop theft isn’t tackled properly, it has wider implications for communities.”

In conclusion, Lowman told Risk UK: “The figures in our Crime Report provide an important insight into what retailers face when dealing with crime, but we expect the true impact to be much larger as a lack of faith in the consistency of police response has led to many incidents going unreported.”

Other key findings from the 2018 Association of Convenience Stores Crime Report include the following:

*The total cost of crimes committed against the convenience sector over the last year was £193 million, which equates to a seven pence ‘crime tax’ on every transaction in stores

*There were over 2,800 burglaries and upwards of 9,300 robberies reported in the last year

*The total cost of burglaries to the sector has reached £20 million

*The total cost of fraud (ie counterfeit notes, credit/debit card fraud, etc) over the last year is £24 million

Download a copy of the full report: http://bit.ly/crimereport2018

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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