Recession boosts retail crime

More than 90% of retailers say retail crime has increased over the last 12 months, and more than four-fifths believe the rise has been caused by the recession.

Recession boosts retail crime

So suggests a British Retail Consortium snapshot crime survey of 13 major retailers. Half report that retail crime has increased by between 11 and 20%, while more than 90% of respondents cite some increase in shop theft.

Nearly 80% have responded to the increase in crime by boosting their spending on crime prevention. This includes more CCTV, improved product protection and better staff training.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, said: “Retail crime is not victimless. It unnecessarily forces up costs for retailers and their customers. It also increases staff intimidation.

“We expect everyone involved in law enforcement and criminal justice to treat shop crime with the same seriousness. Police must understand the importance of a thriving retail sector to communities and the need to respond promptly to incidents. Repeat offenders and those who threaten our staff must be prosecuted properly.

“As the [government’s] British Crime Survey noted, over half of respondents thought their local police could not be relied on to deal with minor crimes – which includes retail crime.”

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