Trade body calls on PCC candidates to get tough on retail crime

The British Retail Consortium has called on candidates in next month’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections to tackle “spiralling retail crime” across the UK.

In an open letter published Tuesday, the UK retail trade association made up of around 200 members calls on PCC candidates to commit to three pledges including making retail crime a priority in police and crime plans; work with other policing stakeholders to ensure the standalone offence for assaulting a retail worker is used (once introduced) and data on its use is tracked; and allocating necessary resources for tackling retail crime in their region.

The BRC said that violence and abuse facing people working in retail skyrocketed across the country, rising to over 1,300 incidents per day in 2022/23, from 870 the year before. It said that these incidents can range from threats with weapons and physical assaults to racial slurs.

The body also said that losses to theft doubled to £1.8bn, with 45,000 incidents every day in 2023 and that thieves are becoming more aggressive in their approaches.

Retailers across the UK spent a record £1.2 billion on crime prevention measures in 2023, the BRC said, adding that the government’s newly introduced standalone offence for assaulting retail workers should help to improve police responses.

Commenting on the letter, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Inadequate police action has given criminals free rein to steal goods and assault retail colleagues. Newly elected PCCs have a fantastic opportunity to get tough on retail crime through the new standalone offence, and I hope the next wave of PCCs deliver the protections that those working in retail and our communities up and down the country deserve.”

Share Story:

Recent Stories

The Very Group
The Very Group transformed range and assortment planning using Board.

Watch the full video

Smarter merchandise planning across the retail value chain
In this webinar, Matt Hopkins, Head of Retail Solutions, Board, Catherine Tooke, SVP Product & Planning, Sweaty Betty, and Subir Gupta, Managing Principal, Thought Provoking Consulting join Retail Systems Editor Jonathan Easton to discuss the findings of the recent Retail Systems report The Merchandise Planning Challenge: How are retailers harnessing technology to optimise planning and retain customers? and examine the innovations that are improving retail planning.