Crime soared in the retail sector by 18% over the past twelve months according to the latest BRC Crime Survey released yesterday. Shoplifting, cyber-crime and fraud is now at its highest level since the current recording system began in 2004. Is the rise as a result of a lack of investment in security or are the criminals just getting smarter? Infologue.com believes the answer is probably a mixture of both, writes Infologue.com publisher, Bobby Logue.
“Organised crime is identified as a growing problem which is confirmed by our own experience with retail security. Gangs are targeting more expensive items and stealing in bulk. The coordinated use of advanced technology and experienced store detectives is now essential in providing the data on in-store criminal activity to then target protection precisely to deal with the growing threat.” Comments Simon Chapman, MD of retail security specialist, Lodge Service.
“Lodge Service launched its ‘intelligence network’ in 2014 to provide a range of web-enabled security services for retailers for remote monitoring and management of resources, including CCTV, biometrics systems, RFID product tagging and access control. A team of store detectives can be deployed through the national intelligence centre to coordinate their work with in-store security systems and deal with the ever-changing patterns of theft.
“Retailers in 2015 are faced with the challenge of reduced budgets for security and rising losses to more sophisticated criminals. This in turn demands a more sophisticated and focused approach to loss prevention. Without this, a retailer can quickly become known as a soft target to gangs that operate nationally.” Concluded Chapman.
Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Criminal activity against UK retailers continues to have wide-ranging consequences for businesses, employees and the vast majority of honest shoppers. The average cost to retailers of theft has now reached £241 per incident, the highest in a decade. Fraud committed online also continues to rise. It is clear that retailers are facing an increasingly sophisticated criminal. Despite an average investment of £2m per business in crime and loss prevention, retailers need help and support to respond to the threat. Police and Crime Commissioners should follow the lead set by the Mayor of London and work with retailers to develop dedicated business crime strategies to help tackle this growing problem.”