Policies & Issues: Retail Crime
BRC RETAIL CRIME SURVEY
BRC RETAIL CRIME SURVEY 2012
This year's survey is the most comprehensive since the survey began - attracting responses from 44 retailers, employing 1.4 million staff and representing 58 per cent of the retail sector by turnover.
The cost of crime has risen significantly again this year, rising by 15.6 per cent, to an overall cost of £1.6 billion.
The number of incidents has also risen in the majority of offences, with the exception of robbery, which has remained stable and violence against staff, which has reduced by 55 per cent when compared to the previous year.
Customer theft continues to be the most prevalent when looking at the number of incidents, however, e-crime now equates to the most costly type of crime affecting the sector.
Retailers continue to invest significantly to protect their businesses, staff and customers against crime and anti-social behaviour. Expenditure on crime and loss prevention had risen by 7.1 per cent when compared with the previous year with a median expenditure of £750,000 per retailer.
Despite the increase in the number of incidents and overall cost of crime, there has been a significant reduction in the number of offences being reported to the police.
British Retail Consortium Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: "Systematic targeting of higher value goods by organised criminals is pushing up the cost of retail crime but the proportion of shoplifting incidents reported to police has plummeted to just one in eight – highlighting just how much there is to do to build retailers' confidence in the way police forces respond.
"There's been some success from closer engagement. The BRC's work with the Met. has led to the Mayor's office recognising retail crime as a force priority in London. But I'm concerned that Police and Crime Commissioners, who are now responsible for determining local crime-fighting priorities elsewhere, are not getting a true picture of the extent of retail crime.
"Retail crime doesn't only impact on its direct victims but on wider communities. It damages the reputation of local areas and those who steal from shops commit other sorts of crime.
"Retailers are spending more than ever on protecting their customers, staff and stock. They deserve the support of law enforcers and politicians. Staff should have confidence to report crime and that action will be taken against those responsible for it.
"The appointment of PCCs presents a new opportunity to understand and tackle retail crime and its effects. It's vital they put it high on their agendas."