Business crime is costing retailers £3,873 per store, according to a new report released by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) this week.
The figure, dubbed by ACS chief executive James Lowman as “the crime tax”, comes from findings that show 7p in every pound is lost to crimes such as assault, theft or cyber-crime every year.
Among the other statistics highlighted at the ACS Crime Seminar this week were the more than 600 firearm (real or imitation) incidents last year; that 39% of violent incidents retailers experienced resulted in injury; that meat, cheese and alcohol are the top three categories for shop theft and that fraud – including credit and debit card fraud and use of counterfeit notes – costs the average store £483 per year.
In terms of gun crime, the figure suggests around one in 10 firearm offences are directed towards retailers.
Alongside the data, Mr Lowman said the organisation’s focus was also on “understanding and deterring crimes” and the ACS is working with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) to develop a better understanding of the issues that lie behind shop crime.
Rory Geoghegan, head of criminal justice at the CSJ, unveiled research showing its own slew of figures from the past 12 months: 383,000 shop thefts (ONS), 21,000 fewer police constables, 6,000 fewer PCSOs and 19,000 more crack cocaine addicts.
Responding to both sets of figures, Mr Lowman said: "We're seeing more robberies for less gain. This isn't just a business crime issue, it's a human issue because these crimes can act as a gateway to other crimes."
The report was based on 31 respondents representing 7,103 stores. "They provide a picture to government and police and crime commissioners that highlights the massive scale of the crime and is difficult to ignore," Mr Lowman added.