ACS Crime Report: 83% of Shopworkers Experience Abuse

The 2019 Crime Report, published today by the Association of Convenience Stores, has revealed that crimes committed against the convenience sector cost an estimated £246m over the last year, equivalent to over £5,300 for every store in the UK, or what amounts to a 7p tax on every transaction.

But the report also found shocking new evidence of the human cost of violence and abuse against retailers and shopworkers, with a staggering 83% of people working in convenience stores having been subject to verbal abuse over the last year.

The single biggest trigger for violence and abuse was shop theft. ACS estimates that there have been over a million incidents of theft over the last year, with retailers reporting that the vast majority of thefts committed against their business (79%) are by repeat offenders that aren’t being dealt with by local police forces.

 Key findings from this year’s Crime Report include:

  • The three biggest concerns for retailers are violence against staff, theft by customers and verbal abuse against staff
  • The report estimates that there were almost 10,000 incident of violence in the sector over the last twelve months
  • Of crimes committed where a weapon was present, the most commonly used weapon was a knife (68% of incidents)

The report also shows that there is a clear link between retailers just doing their jobs by upholding the law, and being subject to abuse. The top three triggers for aggressive or abusive behaviour are challenging shop thieves (1), enforcing age restrictions, for example refusing a sale to someone without ID (2) and refusing to serve drunks (3).

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The financial implications of crime are clearly damaging for our sector, but we are most concerned about the impact of violence, abuse and aggression on people working in local shops. These people go to work to help their communities and to serve customers, but are being subjected to threats of violence, physical attacks and horrific incidents where their personal lives are being permanently affected. There is no excuse for abusive behaviour, and more needs to be done to ensure that offenders are prosecuted with the full force of the law.

ACS is working with the Home Office, Crimestoppers, USDAW and the rest of the retail sector to encourage retailers to report every incident of abuse or violence. More information about the campaign can be found on the Crimestoppers website. 

The full 2019 Crime Report can be found here:

This entry was posted by Chloe on Tue, 26/03/2019 - 06:00