Nine Scots shopworkers attacked every single day, retail crime report reveals

Ewan MacDonald-Russell of the SRC
Ewan MacDonald-Russell of the SRC
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Nine Scottish shopworkers are attacked every day, according to the British Retail Consortium’s annual retail crime survey.

The report found that the total cost of crime and crime prevention for retailers was £1.9 billion last year, up 12 per cent from the previous year. This was made up of a £900 million direct cost from retail crime, and £1bn spent in efforts to prevent crime.

Violence was the most common crime, the study found, while knives are seen as the most significant weapon.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Violent or abusive behaviour towards Scottish shop workers is completely unacceptable. It’s frightening this survey reveals the rate of abuse continues to rise, with nine Scottish shopworkers a day facing abuse, despite continuing investment by our members.

“Feedback in the survey indicates a correlation between the most serious assaults and purchases of statutory restricted products. Recent years have seen more duties placed on shop workers, which is making them more at risk.”

UK-wide, around 70 per cent of respondents described the police response to retail crime as poor or very poor. And while police response was generally better for violent incidents, as compared to theft or fraud, only 20 per cent of respondents considered the response good or excellent.