RETAILERS have been urged to stay vigilant after a shock rise in staff theft over the last year.
A survey has revealed that the number of incidents of staff theft has increased by 88% in 2012.
Other findings from the survey show that the number of till snatches increased by 28%. However the number of robberies declined by 23% and the number of burglaries declined by 16%, while incidences of violence against retailers or staff fell by 10%.
The Association of Convenience Stores which carried out the survey,described the rise in staff theft as "shocking".
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: The reality of theft from criminals who seek out and then a position of trust is particularly hard for retailers to stomach. We urge Police and the criminal justice system to provide the necessary support to retailers in gathering the evidence and pursuing prosecutions where these crimes take place.”
In January, the Home Office’s Commercial Victimisation Survey showed that the retail sector experienced an average of 37 incidents across all crime types, compared with an average of 29 incidents across all the four industry sectors covered. Retailers and wholesalers also experienced the highest level of robbery for all sectors with 633 instances per 1,000 premises over the year.
According to the results 53% of all crime against retail and wholesale is accounted for by shop theft.
Lowman added: “These results demonstrate that local shops have been successful in implementing measures to mitigate and even prevent the impact of planned crimes like robberies and burglaries. Although there is a worrying increase in opportunist crimes such as till snatches, we urge retailers to stay vigilant and implement common sense policies like keeping cash levels low."