Market Research Discovers Hike in Retail Crime and Associated Costs

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21st January 2013 16:11 - Retail


A new survey by The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed that retail crime is on the rise as a result of more serious, organised criminality.

The market research gathered data from 44 retail groups, representing 58% of the sector by turnover, and is claimed to be the BRC’s most comprehensive crime survey to date.

It was discovered that nearly one in 20 shops suffered a robbery last year – this has caused the overall cost of retail crime in the UK to spike by 15.6% in one year, to a massive £1.6billion.

This figure covers crime of all types within the retail sector, including the value of goods stolen, damage done and retailer expenditure on preventive measures.

BRC’s Retail Crime Survey 2012 further found that the proportion of shoplifting incidents reported to police has fallen to one in eight, which indicates that officially reported crime figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

The survey also revealed that e-crime was the most costly form of retail offending, accounting for 37% of the cost of retail crime last year. Meanwhile, all types of fraud are on the increase, with fraud accounting for 26% of the total cost of retail crime last year.

There were 2million incidents of shoplifting in a year across the UK retail sector as a whole, involving about £200million worth of goods. The average value of goods stolen also rose by 28% to £109.

The research further suggested that 28,700 retail workers suffered physical attacks, threats or verbal abuse during the past year, however this figure is actually an improvement of more than half compared with the previous year.

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