Shop crime cost at record high -BRC

SinBinThe cost of retail crime such as shoplifting has soared to an all-time high, according to latest figures from the British Retail Consortium.

The BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey, which also shows a 30 per cent increase in violent or abusive offences, reveals that the total cost of theft to the retail industry in 2014/15 was £613 million, a two per cent increase on the previous year and the highest cost on record.

The data collected showed there had been a 28 per cent increase in offences involving abuse or violence, rising to 41 out of every 1,000 crimes committed compared to 32 out of 1,000 reported last year.

The average value of goods from shops and businesses stolen rose by more than one-third to £325 per incident of customer theft, another all-time record.

Despite that, the total number of offences dropped for the second year running.

Retailers in the BRC’s sample reported 750,144 offences over the past year, a drop of two per cent compared to 2013/14.

David Lonsdale
David Lonsdale

This apparent contradiction has led industry experts to conclude that crime against retailers is increasingly being carried out by sophisticated criminals stealing to order.

This was borne out by data that showed the majority of retailers surveyed reported the level of cyber-attacks had increased or remained unchanged in the past year. Meanwhile, fraud rose by 55 per cent.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Shop thefts hamper retailers’ ability to service their customers and means less money for improving the business including training or refurbishments.”

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