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2015 BRC Retail Crime Survey

Latest figures see an increase in violence.

The British Retail Consortium's latest edition of its 'Retail Crime Survey' landed last week, and as always it remains of interest with regards to the level of verbal abuse, agression, and violence aimed at staff within the retail sector - many of whom are lone workers, at least for part of their working day.

SoloProtect works with several high profile retailers in the UK to help them reduce risk to personnel. Lone working in Retail can be carried out by a host of roles including:

  • Keyholders and managers
  • Staff in store
  • Staff leaving the premises to carry out banking
  • Stock support and warehouse personnel
  • House visits regarding particular homeware services
  • Delivery and distribution

Retail remains the largest private employment sector in the UK with around three million workers employed. This year's report sees crime cost the sector a record £613 million in 2015.

The 2015 report notes that verbal abuse and violence directed towards staff remains at an unacceptable level, with 41 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 employees in 2015, up from 32 the previous year. That's 123,000 incidents recorded, many of which were of 'non-physical abuse or agressive behaviour'. However 21 incidents per 1,000 employed (i.e. 63,000) were deemed to be violent.

Given underreporting remains a significant challenge, the actual cost, and the financial risk a large business carries is huge - particularly in light of new Sentencing Guidelines which have recently come into force from February 2016.

The BRC suggests that 'Businesses should ensure that have adequate measures in place to protect staff from violence and abuse on the shop floor'. To view the report in full, please visit our 'Downloads' section below.

Source of data: The British Retail Consortium.


Article Published 8.2.2016