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Retailers hit by 15.6% leap in cost of retail crime

Published: 21 January 2013
The overall cost of retail crime soared by 15.6% last year to £1.6bn, but retailers' lack of confidence in police response saw dramatically fewer incidents being reported.
Retailers hit by 15.6% leap in cost of retail crime
So says the British Retail Consortium on the publication today of its Retail Crime Survey 2012. The data comes from 44 retailers - 58% of the retail sector by turnover - with the £1.6bn figure covering retail crime of all types and including the value of goods stolen and damage done, plus retailers' spend on prevention.

Numbers of incidents of crime rose across all categories apart from violence against staff and robbery. Customer thefts are the most common retail crime (83% of incidents) but saw the biggest fall in reporting - down from 47% in 2011 to just 12%. That suggests, says the BRC, that retailers' confidence in police response needs to be improved.

The survey indicates that retailers suffer 2m of these shoplifting incidents each year, involving around £200m-worth of goods. The average value of goods stolen in each offence has risen 28% to £109.

Nearly one in 20 stores suffered a robbery during the year, and the average cost of each incident trebled to £3,005 from £989 the previous year - a result of more serious, organised offending. The survey also shows that over 28,000 retail workers suffered physical attacks, threats or verbal abuse.

All types of fraud increased, with identity fraud rising for 80% of retailers, and overall fraud accounted for 26% of the cost of retail crime last year. But e-crime accounted for 37% of the cost, and is now the most expensive form of retail crime.

Retailers are also now spending more on efforts to protect their staff, stock and customers: those surveyed spent an average £750,000 each on crime prevention - up 7% from the previous year.


Published prior to March 2014
By Chris Adam
We have suffered four break ins and one serious shoplifting offence in just over a year in our Garden Centre. Don't blame the Police - I assisted the Police to restrain two of three burglars on one occasion. They resisted violently. The CPS dropped the violence charges and the two arrested thugs received 150 hours community service each. On the shoplifting offence 750 of goods were stolen - we have good cctv pitures of the (alleged)criminals involved and their vehicle registration - the Police can't take any action as we don't have ictures of the theives actually removing the goods from our premises. We are totally vulnable to crime as are many other retailers because the law is no deterrent to the crimiinals - they know they will get away with it - the local Police are just as frustrated as we are.
Published prior to March 2014
By Neil Matthews, Vice President at Checkpoint Sys
That the cost of retail crime has risen for a sixth year in a row and cost the industry 1.6 billion last year is clearly worrying.

However, as noted in this story, retailers are aware of the problem and are committed to tackling it through investing in new technologies and loss prevention strategies.

On top of this, the development of ever more advanced loss prevention solutions is ensuring this investment is highly effective.

While 1.6 billion is clearly an eye-catching figure, it s worth also noting that the most recent Global Retail Theft Barometer last year showed that some retailers had managed to reduce retail crime.

Some 96 per cent of these retailers had used audit programmes to monitor their loss preventions and perhaps most importantly, they had increased their loss prevention spending to almost twice the global average.

While these figures are worrying, we should note retail awareness of the issue coupled with effective security solutions will help retailers protect profits and ensure their success.

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