Jan 20, 2015
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Crime cost the UK retail sector £603m in 2014, an 18% year-on-year increase

Jan 20, 2015

Last year saw British retailers losing out on £603m to retail crime, according to the British Retail Consortium's Annual BRC Retail Crime Survey. This is an 18% increase on 2012-13. There was an estimated 3 million offences across the retail sector in the period.

A huge majority, 81%, of all retail crime by volume was accounted for by customer theft. And even though the volume of offences has fallen marginally, the average value of customer theft rose by 36%. It now stands at £241 per incident, which is the highest level in a decade.

Incidents of employee theft have fallen, however, and now represent 6% of all retail crime by value. They represent an average cost of £1,031 per incident. Fraud rose by 12% in the period, with an estimated 59% committed by organised groups. Retailers also reported an increase in cyber crime.

Robberies fell by 29% in the period and burglaries by 22%.

The BRC survey found that expenditure on crime and loss prevention totalled £378m in 2013-14, with a median spend on crime prevention per retailer of £2m. And retailers are preparing to defend themselves: one third of them intend to invest more in crime and loss prevention over the next two years. Half expect to invest the same as presently, and just 14% say they will invest less.

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