The total overall cost of retail crime, which accounts for both crime prevention and losses incurred, stands at £2.5bn, rising from £2.2bn from last year. Even though retailers do not want to undermine the customer experience by over policing their premises, they cannot turn a blind eye towards retail theft. Retail crime has an expansive cost including retailers, consumers, and employees.
According to the 2021 report by the British retail Consortium, employees are also affected through incidents of violence and abuse. These are up to 455 incidents a day; this includes 114 incidents of violence each day. If we were to take a 9-hour shopping day as typical that makes over 50 incidents an hour or almost one a minute. This includes 11 violent incidents every hour or roughly one every 5 minutes.
The retail industry, which represents 5.2% of the UK economy, is being overlooked in many respects when analysing the impact of crime in society. However, the conversation needs to be started regarding the plight of retail workers as incidents of violence continue to rise and systems to protect workers and enforce justice need to be put in place.
A flexible way of providing retail security as well as protecting the employees is to hire professional security manned guards. The security guards are trained to perform risk assessments of the stores and the location around it, helping them identify potential threats before they arise. Furthermore, they can utilize soft skills such as conflict resolution and non-physical techniques to de-escalate aggressive or threatening customers. Moreover, a security guard is a physical deterrent to violent crime along with petty crime such as shoplifting.
Another useful way, as recommended by experts within the industry and police, is to adopt technology such as body worn cameras. The biggest problem faced by law enforcement when investigating such crime is that of clarity in evidence. Therefore, this issue can be overcome if guards are wearing body cameras that record all interactions with hostile customers. Body worn cameras can become an integral part of the retail security apparatus since they would help law enforcement in their investigation and up to its conclusion. Additionally, body cameras can be used for the purpose of training security guards and the staff at retail stores regarding how to manage distasteful situations.
Moreover, a very reliable method to keep the staff as well as the building secure would be to install CCTV cameras. These cameras can be operated by trained security guards who can identify security threats and take pre-emptive action to prevent any violence or even incidents of theft. Furthermore, cameras can also provide video evidence for prosecution purposes if such a need arises.
At G3 Security, our highly trained security guards, K9 response units and mobile patrolling services provide a dynamic security cover to safeguard your retail, hospitality, construction, and corporate office locations.
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