Here’s everything you need to know about British retail crime that happened last year.

1. The financial damage of crime is up by 18% and it’s costing the industry £603m.

2. An estimated three million offences were committed in the retail sector last year with customer theft accounting for 81% and the average value of goods stolen by customers increasing by 36%, to £241 per incident – the highest value in a decade.

3. The ACS believes the police and Government are not doing enough to tackle repeat offenders of shop theft. James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, said: “The current system of out of court disposals is not working, especially for repeat offenders who are not getting the help they need to break the cycle of offending. It is essential that Government and local police forces take shop theft more seriously, and develop effective punishments for this crime.”


British Retail Crime 2014


4. Robbery and burglary had a sharp decline in 2014, with robbery falling by 29% (five in every 100 stores) and burglary by 22%

5. There is an average of 32 violent and abusive incidents per 1,000 employees. The majority happen when staff challenge customers suspected of theft, asking for proof of age, or impose a store ban.

6. The NFRN is campaigning for government parties to protect retailers in their manifestos. “Our members know only too well about the abuses suffered by shopworkers,” said Paul Baxter, NFRN chief executive. “There are too many instances when shopkeepers do not report instances of crime due to lack of response from police and poor prosecution rates. We appeal for police to develop dedicated strategies to tackle retail crime and are renewing calls for all political parties to commit to protecting retailers and their employees in their upcoming manifestos.”


British Retail Crime Survey

7. Employees can be seen as a bit more loyal, with a drop of 6% in employee theft but it’s still one of the highest figures in nine years at £1,031 per incident. The activities can be as diverse as stealing merchandise to short-changing customers to exchanging counterfeit goods for genuine ones.

8. Credit and debit card fraud is the highest type of fraud, making up to 81% of incidents. 

9. Criminal damage is at its lowest in three years, falling from £2,062 to £754.

10. Retailers trust the police to tackle crimes, with more than three quarters saying that the police response was fair or good.


British Crime Survey

Source: British Retail Crime Survey 2014

Retail crime survey

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