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Policies & Issues: Retail Crime

The Annual BRC Retail Crime Survey provides valuable evidence about the impact of crime on UK retailers. A broad range of retailers participate in the survey, from large multiples to smaller retailers, representing around half of the retail sector by turnover.

Key findings

- There were an estimated 3m offences against UK retailers in 2013-14, directly adding £603m to retailers' costs.

- Although the volume of shop theft offences declined by 4 per cent, the average value of each incident increased from £177 to £241, which was the highest average value recorded for a decade. This trend is thought to be in part a consequence of retailers being targeted by more organised, sophisticated criminal activity.

- Fraud increased by 12 per cent in 2013-14 and accounts for 37 per cent of the total cost of retail crime. Retailers warned that they expect fraud to pose the single most significant threat to their business over the next two years.

- Retailers reported that cyber attacks pose a critical threat to their business.

- There were 32 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 employees in 2013-14.

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