APCC Lead comments on the British Retail Consortium’s Crime Survey Report


According to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Crime Survey report published today, violence and abuse against retail workers soared last year, with the latest figures revealing that the number of incidents rose to 1,300 per day in 2022/23 from almost 870 per day the year before.

APCC Lead for Business Crime Katy Bourne OBE said:

“The levels of retail crime described in this report reveal an unprecedented level of selfish lawlessness.  Every day, retail staff are facing the consequences of shoplifters’ brazen behaviour and that’s why I have supported the call for a specific offence of assault on a shopworker.

“Some say it’s the cost of living that’s driving people to shoplift, I say it’s because it’s easy money for shoplifters, many of whom don’t get challenged or prosecuted even if they are arrested.  Some people steal because they have drug or alcohol addictions but retailers and police say that many of them are being exploited by organised crime gangs and stealing for them.

“That’s why I established Pegasus with 15 of the UK’s biggest retailers, to map the organised crime gangs operating across the retail sector at a national level so that local police can identify and disrupt them more effectively.

“Many of the most harmful and persistent offenders simply waltz through the revolving doors of our magistrates’ courts, heading straight back out into our supermarkets to sweep the shelves with impunity.

“Our courts need to work more efficiently and shoplifters need to be deterred from re-offending.  That’s why I’d like to see wider use of facial recognition technology and I’ve asked Ministers to support my proposals to tag persistent shoplifters so that their movements can be tracked.  I’m also calling for my fellow Police & Crime Commissioners to focus their police forces on tackling shoplifting by making it a priority in their local Police & Crime Plans.

“We need to reclaim our high streets from criminals who think they won’t be caught and we need to give our police the tools they need to catch them and send a strong message to the nation’s shopworkers that abuse against them will not be tolerated.”




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