More

    Theft and violence costing retailers hundreds of thousands: shopkeepers step up measures to combat crime

    Photo: iStock

    New figures lay bare the true cost of crime to the UK’s high-street, as retailers look to take desperate measures in the face of an alarming rise in theft and violence.

    Research from commercial insurer NFU Mutual shows that almost three-quarters of retailers surveyed (74 per cent) have suffered from crime over the past 12 months – costing shops an average of almost £60,000 in that time. Shockingly, NFU Mutual found that one in 20 retailers had lost half a million pounds to crime over the same time period.

    In a bid to try and combat the costly and widespread issue, almost two-thirds of retailers say they have had to take security measures in the last year alone. That includes a variety of physical and technological protection, with a quarter employing full-time security and 66 per cent installing CCTV.

    Some businesses have resorted to more drastic measures to protect staff, with 32 per cent training employees on safety and self-defence, and just shy of a quarter giving staff both bodycams (24 per cent) and nearly as many giving staff panic alarms on their person and on counters (23 per cent).

    The rise in crime is felt beyond monetary loss alone, with more than a third of retailers (37 per cent) saying it’s impacted their mental health and three in 10 admitting they live in fear of theft or violence on their store.

    “Our study shows a worrying number of our retailers are falling victim to crime, which continues to plague our shops, and more than eight in 10 (81 per cent) believe it has increased in the last year,” said Zoe Knight, Head of Commercial at NFU Mutual.

    “With retailers on average suffering losses of around £60,000 a year as a result of theft, the results of this survey will concern the industry.

    “And the impact of this ongoing crime wave clearly extends way beyond a cost perspective, with a worrying number saying incidents have had a negative impact on their mental health and others constantly living in fear they will be targeted.

    “What is clear, and important to see, is people are making a huge effort to protect their stock, staff and premises. While it does come at a cost, we would urge all retailers to do everything they can to deter thieves to feel as protected and supported as they can, should the worst happen.”

    The most common type of crime retailers have suffered was the theft of goods from the shop-floor or stockroom in working hours (48 per cent), with verbal violence or assault against staff and customers (38 per cent), overnight theft (23 per cent), criminal damage (20 per cent) and theft of money from tills or safe (13 per cent) also featuring highly.

    The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) crime survey, revealed in February, further highlighted the issue and the action that needs to take place to tackle incidents in the sector.

    Tom Ironside, Director of Business & Regulation at the BRC, said: “Violence and abuse take a huge toll on retail workers, their families, and their friends. While incidents might be over in a few minutes, victims can carry these experiences with them for a lifetime – and can have a severe impact on victims physical and mental health.

    “Everyone has a right to go to work without fearing for their safety, and we must stamp out this scourge in retail crime once and for all for the sake of all the hardworking people in retail.”

    Latest

    FBC UK extends Crunch Creams range with two new flavours

    Fox’s Burton’s Companies (FBC UK) is adding two new...

    Rustlers turns up the volume for the next instalment of ‘Boost Your Burger’ campaign

    Retailers can give their shoppers hundreds of chances to...

    Hundreds of prizes up for grabs with Whaoo! Crêpes on-pack promotion!

    Whaoo! filled crêpes, from French bakery experts Norac Foods...

    FBC UK partners with Ferrara Candy to import Nerds

    Fox’s Burton’s Companies UK (FBC UK), Britain’s second biggest...

    Don't miss

    FBC UK extends Crunch Creams range with two new flavours

    Fox’s Burton’s Companies (FBC UK) is adding two new...

    Rustlers turns up the volume for the next instalment of ‘Boost Your Burger’ campaign

    Retailers can give their shoppers hundreds of chances to...

    Hundreds of prizes up for grabs with Whaoo! Crêpes on-pack promotion!

    Whaoo! filled crêpes, from French bakery experts Norac Foods...

    FBC UK partners with Ferrara Candy to import Nerds

    Fox’s Burton’s Companies UK (FBC UK), Britain’s second biggest...

    Gravesend Premier store stripped of alcohol licence

    A Premier store in Kent has been stripped of...

    Gravesend Premier store stripped of alcohol licence

    A Premier store in Kent has been stripped of its licence to sell alcohol after repeatedly selling booze to local street drinkers on credit...

    Dominic Hall elected president of SPAR International  

    Dominic Hall, joint managing director of James Hall & Co Ltd, has been elected president of SPAR International.  The announcement of the inaugural election of...

    New study reveals consumer trends ahead of Paris Olympics

    More than half of high-income households across the top six European grocery markets are expected to catch Paris Olympics at home, a recent report...