The 2018 Association of Convenience Stores [ACS] Crime Report shows that shop theft can often lead to abusive and violent behaviour, with retailers reporting that challenging shop thieves was the biggest cause of aggressive behaviour in stores. In total, there have been over 13,437 incidents of violence reported over the last year, although it is likely that many more incidents have gone unreported. Retailers have reported that violence against staff is their number one concern when dealing with crime.
There were over 950,000 incidents of theft estimated over the last year, rising from 575,000 in the previous year, with retailers reporting that the top three reasons for people stealing from their stores are:-
- opportunism (36%)
- someone motivated by an alcohol or drug addiction (32%)
- an organised group of criminals (22%)
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers and their staff are facing violence and abuse on a regular basis for enforcing the law, whether it be through challenging shop thieves, refusing the sale of age restricted products like tobacco and alcohol, or refusing to serve people who are intoxicated. Retailers need a consistent response from the police to ensure that when a crime is committed against a retailer it is taken seriously by the police and the courts.
The total cost of crimes committed against the convenience sector over the last year was £193m, which equates to a 7p ‘crime tax’ on every transaction in stores
There were over 2,800 burglaries and over 9,300 robberies estimated in the last year and the total cost of burglaries to the sector has reached £20m. The total cost of fraud (counterfeit notes, credit/debit card fraud etc) over the last year was £24m.