UK retail theft hits 10-year high, according to British Retail Consortium

Each theft in-store increased by 36 per cent to £241 per incident, helping to push the direct cost of retail crime up to £603 million in 2013-14, the BRC’s latest Retail Crime Survey has highlighted.

A worrying number of respondents also reported suffering increasing levels of fraud, most of which is committed online.

Retailers warned that they expect fraud to pose the single most significant threat to their businesses over the next two years, as more are being targeted by organised criminals.

“Retailers are facing an increasingly sophisticated criminal,” Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, says.

“Despite an average investment of £2 million per business in crime and loss prevention, retailers need help and support to respond to the threat.

“Police and crime commissioners should follow the lead set by the Mayor of London and work with retailers to develop dedicated business crime strategies to help tackle this growing problem.”

Key findings of the survey include:

• There were an estimated three million offences against UK retailers in 2013-14.

• Although the volume of shop theft offences declined by four per cent, the average value of each incident increased from £177 to £241.
• Fraud increased by 12 per cent in 2013-14 and accounts for 37 per cent of the total cost of retail crime.

• There were 32 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 employees in 2013-14.

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