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BRC: UK retail crime rises to 1,300 incidents a day

By Rachel Douglass


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Lancaster, UK. Credits: Unsplash.

A new report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has shown that the number of incidents of violence and abuse against retail workers in the UK has risen to 1,300 a day.

This reflected a 50 percent increase in the levels of retail violence, the organisation’s research noted, which covered the course of 2022 to 2023.

Next to this, the cost of theft had also doubled to 1.8 billion pounds over the same period, with 45,000 incidents a day being the reported figure, bringing the total cost of crime to 3.3 billion pounds.

This comes despite heavier investments into crime prevention made by retailers, which were said to have spent 1.2 billion pounds on heightened measures, including body worn cameras, CCTV and security personnel.

As such, there was an increased dissatisfaction with the police in the region, with 60 percent of respondents to the BRC’s study stating that the police’s response to incidents were “poor” or “very poor”.

In a release, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC, said: “Despite retailers investing huge sums in crime prevention, violence and abuse against retail workers is climbing. With over 1,300 incidents every day, the government can no longer ignore the plight of ordinary, hardworking retail colleagues.”

Dickinson continued: “Criminals are being given a free pass to steal goods and to abuse and assault retail colleagues. No one should have to go to work fearing for their safety.

“The Protection of Workers Act in Scotland already provides additional protection to retail workers, so why should our hardworking colleagues south of the border be offered less protection? It is vital that the government takes action – introducing a new standalone offence for assaulting or abusing a retail worker.”

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