12 February 2017 - Janet Bird
Retail crime cost businesses a staggering £660 million last year, research by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed.
The Consortium's annual retail crime survey showed a surge in both online fraud and incidents of abuse of shop workers, with the total number of reported offences reaching 3.6 million.
There was a 40 percent increase in reported cases of verbal and physical abuse directed against shop staff, with 51 incidents per 1,000 employees reported between 2015 and 2016, compared to just 41 the previous year.
The study also found that retailers lost £100 million to phishing and cybercrime a year, with this kind of offence now accounting for 53 percent of reported fraud offences. In total, fraud offences cost retailers £183 million.
Customer theft, however, remained the most common type of crime, accounting for 75 percent of crime by incidents and 66 percent of the direct cost of retail crime (£438 million).