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SECURITY

GROWING THREAT

The British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey has highlighted rising violence against store staff

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he BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey has revealed that the overall number of retail crimes committed has risen to 3.6 million, with the direct financial cost of crime to the retail industry reaching £660m in 2015-16. The BRC report highlights the rise of cybercrime, but customer theft remains the most common type of crime, accounting for 75 per cent by incidents and 66 per cent of the direct cost, at £438m. The BRC Retail Crime Survey sample covered 37 per cent of the retail industry by turnover and 35 per cent by staff, accounting for 1.1 million employees. And it uncovered a growing threat after a 40 per cent increase in violence and other forms of abuse against retail workers in the past year. Last year there were 51 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 staff – up from 41 the previous year. The BRC says concerns are growing among retailers that existing deterrence is not effective enough, and there is growing sense among those working in the retail industry that offenders are able to act with impunity. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson says: “These figures reflect a deeply concerning trend. Attacks on retail workers are intolerable, as are attempts to defraud customers. Retailers are doing everything possible to ensure that staff members and customers are safe and protected. But this rising tide should be stemmed through even stronger cooperation between industry, the government, law enforcement and the private security industry. “There is work to do to further improve collaboration between the UK retail industry and its partners, and raise standards of security and policing of these threats across the country.” So what can be done? Simon Chapman, managing director of top 30 security company Lodge Service says: “The data and technology is available to target and tackle this problem, together with the training that staff need to avoid or defuse situations of potential violence and danger. This has been an area of disinvestment by many retailers – when a targeted approach can reap dividends, at no extra cost." Chapman believes CCTV, tagging, guarding and other measures – in the way they are used conventionally – are not working. “A strategy based on intelligence data and focused deployment: this is the only proven way to counter the increasing professionalism and specialisation of criminals, wherever this occurs,” he insists. MARCH 2017 SHOPPING CENTRE

01/03/2017 09:04:21

Shopping Centre Magazine March 2017  
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