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News

BRC survey sees increase in retail crime in the UK

British Retail Consortium : 17 July, 2009  (Company News)
Contrary to Home Office reports of stable crime figures, the British Retail Consortium is seeing a significant increase in recession-fuelled retail crime in the nation
More than 90 per cent of retailers say retail crime has increased over the last 12 months and more than four fifths believe the rise has been caused by the recession.

The findings are part of a British Retail Consortium (BRC) snap-shot crime survey, published on Thursday. This is at odds with headline figures from the British Crime Survey, also published today by the Home Office, which reports no change in most crime types.

The BRC figures show half of retailers report retail crime has increased by between 11 and 20 per cent, while more than 90 per cent of respondents cite some increase in shop theft. The Home Secretary Alan Johnson acknowledges an increase in "some acquisitive crimes".

The vast majority of retailers (nearly 80 per cent) have responded to the increase in crime by boosting their spending on crime prevention. This includes more CCTV, improved product protection and better staff training

Stephen Robertson, BRC Director General, said: "Retail crime is not victimless. It unnecessarily forces up costs for retailers and their customers. It also increases staff intimidation.

"Retailers have responded to this recession-driven increase in retail crime by beefing up security to limit the increase in thefts. We expect everyone involved in law enforcement and criminal justice to treat shop crime with the same seriousness. Police must understand the importance of a thriving retail sector to communities and the need to respond promptly to incidents. Repeat offenders and those who threaten our staff must be prosecuted properly.

"As the British Crime Survey noted, over half of respondents thought their local police could not be relied on to deal with minor crimes - which includes retail crime."

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