Retailers are telling the story that they are witnessing a distinct increase in shoplifting and violence which they claim is a direct result of the recession.

The most recent crime review by the trade body the British Retail Consortium shows retail theft carried out by the public increased by a third between 2008 and 2009.

It makes outrageous reading that a shop theft takes place almost every minute of the day, twenty four hours a day, and is one reason why business experts are requesting that the police and those others who are in authority take retail theft more seriously.

Not only did this study show a rise in retail theft but more disturbingly, violent behaviour against staff also increased and as a result shop keepers are asking the police to do more to care for them and their stock.

The report states that at least 22,000 employees countrywide say they have been on the receiving end of customer violence and a representative from the British Retail Consortium said police and others in the criminal justice system do not take store crime seriously enough.

This wide ranging survey carried out by the BRC covered sixty key stores, with over a million personnel and represents in the order of half the market.

So what exactly does half million a shoplifting thefts a year equate to in monetary terms? Well the answer is over one billion GBP in lost revenue for the retailers of the United Kingdom.

And it is even possible that these figures are understated as the belief amongst industry experts is that many crimes go unreported and as a result the figure could be twice as high.

This is not a victimless crime and many people will try and persuade you otherwise but just keep in mind it will be the honest shopper who suffers the additional monetary costs whilst it is left to the unfortunate employee to bear the emotional and psychological cost that comes from the distress of an attack in their workplace.

So the question has to be asked; is this situation likely to abate any time soon?

It would seem unlikely that this situation would resolve itself given time, simply put we are in the middle of the most difficult of times where the government has had to implement the most severe budget cuts in history with none of the public sector bodies escaping. This in turn means that the police will be working with a reduced amount of funding and as such, retail theft will not be a priority issue.

Couple this with those people who may be already suffering from the effects of the budget cuts and are getting increasingly anxious about be able to maintain a decent quality of life.

These members of the public could possibly have an indirect or direct effect on the retail sector as they may be the ones carrying out the shoplifting or they may have a practised thief steal to order, it does not matter which one it is as the overall result is the same.

The only way the retail sector is going to combat this situation is to realise that they have to see not just the short term but the long term picture and take a proactive stance and that includes bolstering their stores retail security; inclusive of hiring retail security officers, mobile guards, CCTV, etc.

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