Retail Crime Increases Opportunities for Conflict

Retailers in the United Kingdom are expected to lose almost £1 billion over Christmas as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses.

In its annual ‘Shoplifting for Christmas’ report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, The Centre for Retail Research finds that UK retailers could lose £522 million through shoplifting, £431 million through employee theft and £47 million as a result of vendor and distribution losses in the six week period from mid-November to the end of December.

The results suggest that the losses likely to be incurred by the retail sector over the Festive period could add an extra £38.09 to each UK family’s shopping bill.   

Abuse and violence against shop staff can often follow on from dealing with thieves and it is important staff receive training to manage these situations as highlighted in the BRC, Tackling Violence Against Staff: Best Practice Guidelines for Retailers, published in May.  

Leader in conflict management training, Maybo believes it is important to look at the likely training needs of staff in different roles before embarking on a training offensive. This can range from raising awareness for sales assistants to more comprehensive conflict management training and possibly physical intervention skills for managers and staff that are likely to become involved in an escalating situation or arrest.

Areas that retailers need to consider to support an effective training strategy include:

  • A dedicated violence reporting and monitoring process to allow more consistent and full reporting of violent incidents and to provide quality management information
  • A violence specific risk assessment process
  • A violence policy and a written implementation strategy monitored and co-ordinated by a named manager
  • Clear expectations of staff in different roles in terms of their responsibilities in preventing and managing violence
  • An awareness of the importance of retail / multi agency initiatives in addressing common problems and in managing repeat offenders
  • The vulnerability of other managers and staff groups that are, in practice, becoming involved in arrest and detention without guidance or training
  • The frequent restraint of suspected thieves by staff who have not been taught how to do this, or training to learn skills to protect themselves and others from physical assault
  • The need for line managers to be more aware of how they can best support staff in the aftermath of a violent incident and ensure it is professionally handled
  • The need to research and provide guidance on the role of restraint devices such as handcuffs and safety equipment in retail settings, and to establish a ‘standard’ for detention areas



Posted by Maybo on December 12, 2012


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