Are Retail Thefts On The Increase?

When it comes to business security, much of the talk these days focuses on the virtual world. Cyber security is a hot topic and, of course, one that you need to be aware of regardless of what sector you work in.

However, that’s not to say that physical crime isn’t still an issue. In retail particularly it seems that the number of incidents could in fact be increasing. A recent article for Assured Fire & Security revealed that the number of incidents of retail theft and damage has increased by 40 per cent in recent years.

The news provider revealed that theft is thought to cost retailers an estimated £700,000 each year, which is a sizeable amount of money given that fewer of us are shopping on the high street.

But what can you do to protect your business against these kinds of incidents? One option is to make sure your premises are fitted with roller shutters in Wrexham, or wherever you’re based, to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to break in after hours.

To highlight the scale of the problem, the news provider ran through the five worst thefts that have been committed in the UK since 2014.

In at number five, for instance, was an incident in July of this year, where a jeweller was knocked unconscious when thieves stole £30,000 worth of jewellery and watches from a store.

At number three was the robbery of Michael Spiers back in 2018, when the thieves stole an estimated £1 million worth of jewellery. Although the vast majority was recovered, a £95,000 ring is still unaccounted for.

The top two have both happened this year, however. In at number two was the raid on London Jewellers, when the thieves used the London Marathon as cover and were able to break into the premises using a hidden passageway that linked to the store nextdoor. An estimated £1 million was taken, and the police are still investigating.

Topping the list, however, is the series of ram-raids across shops in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding counties.

In these cases, the thieves targeted shops and ATMs, as well as carrying out other burglaries, getting away with an estimated £1.5 million and causing more than £1 million worth of damage in the process.

In this case, at least, there has been a resolution, with five members of an organised criminal network jailed in October this year for the crimes.

These incidents highlight the scale of the problem that’s facing retailers, however, and show why it’s just as important as ever to make sure your physical security is sorted, as well as your online security.

Last month, some security staff in Ipswich told the Ipswich Star that they are increasingly worried about being harmed while doing their jobs because thieves are becoming “fearless”.

Shoplifting in Suffolk has increased by 12 per cent in the past five years, the newspaper revealed, with one security guard commenting that it’s increasingly difficult to confront offenders because more and more of them are coming to premises armed with knives and needles.