Convenience stores including the Coop have highlighted the retail crime their stores are experiencing. Coop say they’ve had 1000 incidents per day across their stores over the last few months. This is a 35% increase on last year’s figures. They’re warning that at this rate, some will become “no go” areas.
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) echoes the coop’s concerns. Their annual report estimates that there were over 1.1 million incidents of theft reported last year. Last quarter, ACS reported record breaking levels of theft… only to see that record broken again this quarter.
The Business Retail Consortium (BRC) reports a significant financial cost of crime – £1.76 billion in 2021-22 alone. These crimes include burglaries and break ins, theft, criminal damage and assault as well as cyber crime.
One of the areas it’s calling for improvement is in enabling investment in crime prevention measures. Investing in crime prevention security measures is often cheaper than the cost of crime. It also leads to employees and customers feeling safer within the store. Most commonly implemented measures are external physical security features such as bollards and roller shutter doors. Intruder alarms and CCTV complete the top three, followed by staff training and perspex screens.
Some retailers have taken steps to improve detection with upgraded CCTV, and there has been some increase in prosecutions this year. If a retailer is to invest in security measures, they need to be effective and up to date. The BRC’s report also states that improvements in CCTV are supported. It says:
It is important to understand the potential for legally shared information and use of CCTV to assist in crime prevention and detection.BRC
Every pound invested by a business in preventing crime increases the feelings of safety and positivity among local citizens about their communities. Regulators should also explore and look favourably upon the use of new technologies like facial recognition and its use in retail settings.ACS
Keybury have seen a similar patter with more retail customers looking to install or upgrade security – often as a result in experiencing retail crime. We offer all our customers free security surveys and help to bring peace of mind to our customers in retail settings.