It may come as no surprise that London retail crime is a problem, but the figures are unexpectedly high.

Crime in London is rising and is at a significant high, from violent crimes to theft and vandalism, so it is a reality that is becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Businesses in Retail are at high risk of falling victim to criminal behaviour as they often contain valuable goods and cash.

Without proper security in place to tackle these issues, it is likely that they could impact your business. But just how bad is retail crime in London?

What are the Statistics of Retail Crime in London?

With cuts to police funding, and an increase in people falling into poverty, crimes like theft (particularly in the Retail Industry) have gone up. Robbery, which involves theft but uses fear/intimidation to achieve the theft, has nearly doubled since 2012, with 1 in every 20 premises dealing with robbery in 2017. However, according to a report by the Co-operative Group Limited and the University of London, in this same time period, the number of arrests for shoplifting have fallen by 17%, despite theft overall increasing by 13%. The average cost of an offence on a retail business is approximately £150.

On a whole, for every 1,000 businesses in the retail sector, there are about 23,000 incidents per year.

Police officially do not have to investigate shoplifting if the cost of valuables lost is under £200, although this can be solved if there are security officers available to apprehend the thieves before they escape.

How bad is Staff Related Crime in London?

In London, around 6% of retail crime is due to employees, with the average cost of each employee theft over £1,100. Other costs to a business involving their employees include leaked sensitive information and fraud, which can be equally costly or more in some cases.

How can Retail Crime be Prevented?

By putting a few simple things in place, the security of your shop can be greatly improved.

Meet customers at the door

By having someone at the door, particularly security personnel, to greet customers as they walk in, it can very quickly put off shoplifters from attempting to rob your store. This is because it lets them know that the staff are paying attention to them, and will probably catch them if they try and steal anything

Crime Mapping

This technique can be used if you are experiencing theft already. By keeping track of the times, dates and locations of where crime is taking place, patterns may begin to form. This can allow you to organise a new security plan to make sure that there is more surveillance in the areas most affected or perhaps during the times they are most likely to occur.

Working alongside your security guarding company can be vital to work out a plan for your security, as this will allow you to cover the weakest areas of your security most effectively.

Have more than one person in the shop

Thieves often will target a shop if there is only one person working within it. By having more staff working together, or by having a trained security guard on the premises, criminals will be far less likely to attempt shoplifting.

Getting the Right Security Solution for your Retail Business in London

Hiring the right security staff can be tricky when it comes to retail businesses, as you want them to be fully trained to deal with potential incidents and friendly enough to make your customers feel safe. By choosing to hire security from an SIA approved company, you can rest assured in knowing that the guards that you are provided with are trained to a nationally regulated standard. This allows the guards to have all the knowledge they need to protect your business. For more information on security for your retail business, click the button below.