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Figures from the British Retail Consortium’s annual Retail Crime Survey have revealed that the total cost of crime and prevention for retailers totalled £1.9 billion last year, up 12% from the previous year.
The cost is split with £900 million being a direct cost of retail crime and £1 billion spent on efforts to prevent crime. A loss of £700 million came from customer theft, which is a 31% increase on the previous year.
Retailers are reportedly spending 17% more on cyber-security than last year (£162 million), and nearly 80% of the retailers surveyed have seen an increase in the number of cyber attacks.
The human cost has also been unveiled, with 115 retail employees attacked every day at work, and 70% of respondents to the survey describing police response to retail crime as poor or very poor.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Violence against employees remains one of the most pressing issues retailers face, yet once again we have seen an increase in the overall number of incidents. Such crimes harm not just hardworking employees, but also on their families and communities. No one should go to work fearing threats and abuse. The spiralling cost of retail crime– both in losses and the cost of prevention – are a huge burden to a retail sector that is already weighed down by the twin challenges of skyrocketing business costs and Brexit uncertainty.”