With over 228.25 thousand shoplifting offences recorded in both England and Wales during 2020/2021, it is clear that more retail security is required. In this article we will be discussing why retail outlets need more security, how to secure a retail lease, how shoplifters are caught, and what other services retail security guards provide.
Why UK Retail Outlets Need More Security
As of 2021, there is a total of 316,400 retail outlets in the UK. Each one of these outlets will be under threat of crime both internally and externally. With shoplifting alone costing millions of pounds per day, retail crime is on the rise and is expected to increase due to the rise in energy and council tax bills.
The presence of security guards will help to prevent retail crimes, for example, those with the intention of shoplifting will be put off due to the fear of getting caught. Security can also help put the minds of staff members at ease as they will not be responsible for dealing with crimes and can continue with their job as normal.
What Potential Security Risks Can Arise in a Retail Environment?
Although shoplifting is the main risk factor for retail environments, there are also other crimes that can take place. This includes verbal abuse, physical abuse, cyber-attacks, and fraud. Security guards are trained to recognise any signs that these crimes are taking place and have the knowledge to act accordingly.
How Do I Secure a Retail Lease?
There are many ways you can secure your retail store, such as purchasing CCTV, fitting shutters, installing alarms, and locking away valuable products. However, the only way to stop these crimes from occurring is by purchasing retail security.
So, what is retail security? This is described as the act of security guards working in stores or using technology to spot any crimes taking place. Their main objective is to protect both staff members and customers as well as prevent financial damage.
If a security guard spots a crime about to occur, such as someone attempting to steal, they will witness the crime, delay the criminal, and report it. This takes the stress away from employees and decreases the amount of money lost due to theft.
How Are Shoplifters Caught?
You may be wondering what would happen if you were to be caught shoplifting, this depends on a variety of factors and what the retail security guards can do.
For example, if you are young and not known for stealing, it’s likely you will be requested to either pay for the items or return them back to the store.
However, if the store has your name on record due to stealing in the past, it is likely that the police will be called, and you will be banned from the store.
How Common Is Shoplifting?
How often shoplifters are caught really depends on the time and place. Shoplifting incidents happen every day and with only around 10% of people being caught, more and more people are starting to test their luck. It is estimated that 1 in 11 people are guilty of shoplifting and only half will face prosecution.
How Much Do Stores Lose to Shoplifting?
The cost of crime was at £1.3 billion in 2019/20 which is a significant amount of money lost due to customer theft alone. If this was reduced by hiring security, there would be more money for retailers to put towards increasing wages and improving facilities.
What Other Services do Retail Security Guards Provide?
As mentioned previously, there are other types of crime that take place in retail stores. Security guards will be constantly looking out for these types of crimes to prevent them before it’s too late. Below are some examples of different types of crimes committed in retail stores:
This is where customers will try and find ways to avoid paying the full price for their goods. Examples include changing the barcodes, failing to scan or add an item to the checkout, or purposely damaging a product.
This type of fraud also takes place at the till. Customers often try and claim refunds for an item that has previously been stolen or even show false receipts in exchange for credit.
Unfortunately, it is very common for retail employees to suffer abuse from customers. This includes any violent or aggressive behaviour aimed at shop workers or even other customers.
Another potential crime for retail stores is vandalism. This includes any type of damage to the store such as graffiti or smashed windows.
There were 5.16 thousand thefts by employees reported in England and Wales during 2020/21. These types of theft usually include cash, products, company property, or personal data.
Retail security guards can offer services which enable them to react to these crimes. They will have the required training to recognise any suspicious activity, keep an eye on those in the store, ensure the safety of staff and customers, and report the incident to the right people.
Security guards will also go above and beyond to be a part of the team by using good customer skills, dressing professionally, and politely approaching customers to allow others to always feel safe.
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