Home Office figures shows rise in crime for local shops during the pandemic

The figures highlighted by the Home Office backs findings from the ACS Crime Report 2022 published earlier this month

Retail crime violent assault shopworkers

Official figures published by the Home Office on 30 March has emphasised that wholesalers and retailers experienced increased levels of crime during the pandemic.

The Home Office data showed that nearly half (46%) of retailers saw an increase in levels of violence and assault between April 2020 and March 2021.

38% of wholesale and retail premises in England and Wales experienced crime during the same period.

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With 61% of those surveyed reported that they had experienced verbal abuse, 22% threats or intimidation, and 13% physical attack without injury, all of these incidents were believed to be related to the pandemic.

The figures led to over a quarter (27%) of premises experiencing severe levels of crime making investments into installing crime prevention measures in their business.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “We know from our own research that criminals repeatedly targeted convenience stores throughout the course of the pandemic and these findings from the Home Office have confirmed this harsh reality.

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“However, we also know that retailers have been investing in crime prevention measures in their businesses to send a clear message to perpetrators that these incidents will not be tolerated.

“The survey also confirms that retailers and the police are not working closely enough together. Many crimes go unreported, and when they are, the response from the police is mixed. We all need to redouble our efforts to share information and take action to tackle crime,” Lowman added.

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