There has been a 40 percent increase in violence and other forms of abuse against retail workers in the past year, according to the results of the BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey. The survey covered 37 percent of the retail industry by turnover and 35 percent by staff, accounting for 1.1 million employees.
The survey also discovered that 53 percent of retail fraud is now cyber-enabled. These forms of crime are targeted towards retailers and customers. They include activities such as phishing, theft of consumer data, doxing and social engineering, as well as a host of other increasingly elaborate scams.
Retailers expressed fears that that existing deterrence is not effective enough, reported the BRC.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, said: “These figures reflect a deeply concerning trend. Attacks on retail workers are intolerable, as are attempts to defraud customers. A significant aspect of the cyber security challenge for retailers is the attractiveness of customer data from the point of view of criminals, many of whom operate outside UK borders but can nevertheless gain relatively easy access to UK digital networks.
“Retailers are doing everything possible to ensure that staff members and customers are safe and protected. But this rising tide should be stemmed through even stronger cooperation between industry, the government, law enforcement and the private security industry. There is work to do to further improve collaboration between the UK retail industry and its partners, and raise standards of security and policing of these threats across the country.”