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Crime Report 2024

The UK’s local shops recorded a shocking 5.6million incidents of shop theft over the last year, smashing the previous record of 1.1m incidents recorded in the 2023 Crime Report.

The 2024 Crime Report outlines the scale of the retail crime crisis blighting communities across the UK. The report reveals that retailers have recorded over 600 incidents of theft an hour over the last year.

The report also highlights a huge increase in violent incidents committed against retailers and their colleagues. Over the last year, there have been around 76,000 incidents of violence in shops compared to 41,000 in the 2023 Crime Report.

Retailers are doing what they can to fight back by investing in crime prevention and detection measures, with £339m spent over the last year in areas like CCTV, security staff, intruder alarms and internal communication systems, but the figures released today send a clear message to the Government, local forces and police leaders that more action is needed.

Taken together, the cost of crime and the cost of investing in fighting crime results in a 10p ‘crime tax’ on every transaction that takes place in every store across the UK, up from 6p in the 2023 Crime Report.

Additional findings from the 2024 Crime Report include:

  • The top motivations for repeat offending are drug or alcohol addiction (1), organised crime (2) and opportunism (3)
  • The top triggers for abuse in stores are encountering shop thieves (1), enforcing the law on age restricted sales (2) and refusing to serve intoxicated customers (3)
  • 87% of colleagues in convenience stores have faced verbal abuse over the last yearTwo thirds of retailers (67%) believe that the cost of living crisis has led to an increase in theft
  • More than three quarters of retailers (76%) believe organised crime has become more prevalent over the last year

ACS is calling on central Government to take the following action to support retailers in tacking the UK’s retail crime crisis:

  • Deliver justice for shopworkers and effective sanctions for offenders 
  • Focus additional police resources on neighbourhood policing to keep communities safe
  • Support further investment in technology to deter and detect criminals

The publication of the 2024 Crime Report comes just weeks ahead of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. ACS has been calling on all PCCs to share important information about how they are prioritising retail crime, how retailers can report incidents most effectively, and what strategies are in place to get prolific offenders off the streets. 

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