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    Small retailers struggle to afford ‘cost of security’ amid rising crime

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    Small retailers often struggle to afford the extra cost of security that they are forced to endure amid rampant crime levels, an industry leader has said.

    Chief of retailer body British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) Andrew Goodacre put the spotlight on retail crime and shoplifting as he spoke on BBC Breakfast on Monday (18). He later spoke with Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live, shedding light on the rise in retail crime and shop theft, particularly affecting independent retailers nationwide.

    On BBC Breakfast, Goodacre discussed the alarming impact of increasing retail crime on independent businesses. He highlighted the vulnerability of smaller retailers facing challenges that include not only financial losses but also the emotional toll on business owners.

    “There is a fear, a real fear among large and small retailers that this problem could get bigger towards the end of the year,” he said.

    During the interview, Goodacre shared insights into the lack of confidence in the police regarding retail crime affecting independent retailers, from shoplifting to vandalism.

    “There is a real lack of confidence in police actions on those (types of incidents). Over the years there has been a real trend in people taking from shops being treated as a low priority and now we’re paying the penalty for that,” he said.

    Later in the morning, Goodacre continued the conversation on BBC Radio 5 Live with Nicky Campbell. The radio interview delved deeper into the root causes of the surge in retail crime and explored potential solutions to safeguard independent retailers.

    “This is a problem for large and small retail, there’s no doubt that the cost of security people on doors is something that small retailers would struggle to afford. They employ more staff to keep an eye on stock and retailers are careful where they place their stock as well,” he added.

    “Some of the larger retailers have contributed around £800,000 to form a task force in Lyme with the Police and Crime Commissioners, looking at the role of organised crime and looking to dismantle that role, hopefully. We do know that the Government are prioritising this with the police forces as well, so there is action. All that takes time and it’s time that sometimes businesses don’t have because they’re affected by this every day,” he said.

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