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ACS Crime Report 2019

Latest ACS Crime Report reveals worrying rise in verbal abuse of staff.

The release of the annual Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) crime report has once again thrown up some concerning statistics. The last twelve months have seen close to 10,000 reported incidents of violence in the sector, with crimes committed with knives a particular concern.

  • 83% of staff in convenience stores have experienced verbal abuse.
  • The cost of crime against convenience retailers rose, costing the sector £246m, and £5,308 per store.
  • An estimated 9,782 of violence incidents, with 41% resulting in injury.
  • Of crimes committed where a weapon was present, the most commonly used weapon was a knife (68% of incidents).

Due to the nature of working in a convenience store, staff can spend a significant amount of time working alone, or without direct supervision, making stores ideal targets for opportunist criminals. The ACS Crime Report revealed that shop theft was costing stores on average £2,237 per year, an increase on the £1,739 reported in last year’s report.

Although theft is clearly a big issue it’s the incidences of violent behaviour that are surely the biggest concern. Many convenience store workers found incidents of verbal and physical abuse are triggered when carrying out expected tasks such as, enforcing age restrictions, challenging incidents of theft, or refusing to serve intoxicated customers, all common duties that they can expect to encounter on a daily basis.

These incidences become infinitely more serious when a weapon is involved and rather disturbingly there has been an increase in crimes where a knife has been present.

Once again the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Report has highlighted a concerning increase in violence towards the sector’s workforce. With increases in verbal and physical violence, and serious concerns over employee welfare it’s clear something needs to be done.

To read in the in-depth report in full, see here.

Article Published 26.3.2019