The 2021 Crime Report, launched today by the Association of Convenience Stores, reveals that 89% of colleagues working in local shops have experienced some form of abuse, with over 1.2million incidents recorded over the last year.
Throughout the pandemic, convenience stores have stayed open, providing essential goods and services to millions of customers that rely on them whilst adapting their businesses to ensure that they’re Covid secure. But despite limits on customer numbers in many stores and an overall drop in the number of people visiting convenience stores over the last year, there have still been an estimated 1.1million incidents of shop theft recorded in the convenience sector.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the report, Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “Over a million shop thefts and incidents of violence and abuse aren’t just big numbers, each one is a crime that has a personal impact on retailers and their colleagues. For so many people in local shops to have suffered this kind of abuse, just for doing their jobs, is shocking and must not be allowed to be normalised.
“Convenience stores have been on the front line serving their communities throughout the last year, but despite this they have been the constant target of criminals, often repeat offenders, who aren’t being dealt with properly by the justice system. This results in fewer retailers being willing to report crimes and less trust in the ability of the police to respond to incidents when they occur.
“We need action now to ensure that everyone, from neighbourhood police and the courts to Police and Crime Commissioners and central Government, takes crimes committed against retailers and their colleagues seriously. The upcoming PCC elections in May are an opportunity for every candidate to set out their priorities and commit to tackling this issue and supporting local shops.”

Financial Cost of Crime

Crimes committed against the convenience sector cost £142m over the last year alone, equating to over £3,000 per store.
Stores have also invested heavily over the last year to make their businesses safer. Over £175m has been spent by retailers on crime prevention measures like CCTV, external security staff and intruder alarms. Taken together with the cost of crimes committed, there is effectively a 5p crime tax on every transaction in stores. ReadMore…