Retail Crime and Loss Prevention – A Joined Up Approach

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Retail Crime and Loss Prevention – A Joined Up Approach

Tomorrow Revo will be holding a roundtable on retail crime and loss prevention, which will be area of work under the auspice of the Security & Safer Shopping Committee, and discussions will be Police-led with the National Business Crime Centre chairing this significant area of concern for the industry.

In an already struggling environment for the retail industry, profits are literally walking out the door. According to the Centre for Retail Research, it is estimated that UK retail shrinkage accounts for almost £5.5 billion and that’s just the financial implications, the human impact has very real consequences for anyone seeking a career in retail.

BRC figures (2019) found that 115 staff were injured every day by unprovoked attacks: threats and actual violence doubled in 2018, when a total of 41,000 violent incidents were reported.

“It’s not part of the job.”

In September last year, the Co-op published the report, Violence and verbal abuse towards shop workers by Dr Emmeline Taylor, a Criminologist from the University of London. This research, showed the impact and motivations of violence in the retail industry. It also showed that this abuse has lasting effects on the lives of workers, both mentally and physically. Dr Taylor will be attending the Revo roundtable to discuss the latest crime trends such as steaming/swarming, grab and go and so on.

Official statistics show a reduction in shop theft but the reality is that retail crime is at a much higher level as shop theft crime go unreported skewing the official statistics. Retailers simply don’t have the time to sit and complete online reports which can take up to 45 minutes – there has to be another solution to streamline this process.

The statistics speak for themselves, so what can we do to help?

We have to approach this in a joined up and collaborative way. A partnership between property owners, FM providers, occupiers, BIDs, the BRC, Oris Forums and Police authorities to establish clear actions and tangible solutions for our community.

The consultation violence and abuse against shop staff call for evidence closed in June last year, and it is unsurprising given the political backdrop of last year, the submissions are still being sifted by the Home Office. The results of the roundtable discussion will be fed back to the Home Office which could influence the call for evidence results.

Thursday’s roundtable is the initial step for this work stream, there is much more to come, and we will be hosting a session on retail crime and loss prevention strategies at Destination R next month and continuing discussions at the Safety & Security Conference in June.