Violence and abuse against people working in retail has almost doubled on pre-pandemic levels. The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Crime Survey reveal that incidents, including racial abuse, physical assault, and threats with weapons, rose from the pre-Covid high of over 450 per day in 2019/20, to over 850 per day in 2021/22.
Alongside the huge emotional and physical impact on people, retail crime bears a huge financial cost. The survey revealed the total cost of retail crime stood at £1.76 billion in 2021/22. £953 million was lost to customer theft, with eight million incidents of theft over the year. Retailers also spent £715 million on crime prevention in 2021/22. While some costs are critical in protecting colleagues, they also contribute to higher prices for customers by pushing up retailers’ operating costs. BRC Crime Survey 2023 (2023) British Retail Consortium. Available at: https://brc.org.uk/news/operations/brc-crime-survey-2023/ (Accessed: 17 October 2023).