Retail security: What do retail merchants should know about crime

Why discuss it now?

The Centre for Retail Research issued the ‘Shopping and Crime’;  a report which claims that shoplifting is one of the most prolific crimes in the United Kingdom, which costs retailers much more than burglary and mugging.

Even so, the Global Theft Barometer, that assesses the lost revenue attributed to retail crime, indicates that notwithstanding the billions that it is costing retailers and the increasing incidence rates, there is apathy to retail crime consequently it seems to attract lesser attention and understanding from the police.

Is it so bad?

The British Retail Consortium’s retail crime survey estimates that the cost and losses of retail crime are in the region of 1.4 billion and an increase of 31 percent. Even so, the total could be much higher, and that an estimated £4 billion worth of goods was pilfered in various methods during 2010 only. Retail law-breaking was brought into prominence last year during the riots, which left retail outlets being looted, pillaged and set ablaze. The drunken revelry and riotous behaviour affected virtually 7 percent of retail outlets according to the consortium.

Who’s perpetrating the crimes?

Offences by customers attributed for 60 percent all losses according to the British Retailers Consortium. The  2011 retail crime survey, indicated a mean theft value £85. Staff pilfering also accounted for almost 4% of the losses.

What are retailers doing to prevent crime?

Retailers spent over £214 million combating retail crime during the period of 2011. The BRC reported, that it corresponds to approximately £700,000 per company. Retail merchants committed almost their entire crime prevention budget into uniformed retail security guards and surveillance systems.

Notwithstanding the fast response by the police force and extended sentences handed down to perpetrators of the riots in London and various large cities in England. It’s debated that the sentences of offenders in the United Kingdom is not as robust as it is in some different other countries, this includes Europe and the USA. The BRC conceives that sentencing ought to be much harsher and that former offences be taken into account.

What can the Government do?

It has been suggested to introduce locally elected police force and crime commissioners later in the year, which will be responsible to localised retail businesses. The BRC is coordinating with the Home Office to assure that police force realise the affects of retail crime and that their responses to retail crime is also coordinated with retailers.

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