Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
February 3, 2017

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Dorgard Pro: Holding fire doors open – until the alarm sounds

Soaring cybercrime and 40% jump in violence against staff fuels latest rise in retail crime

Rising cybercrime and a dramatic increase in violence against staff have driven another rise in retail crime, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The latest BRC Crime Survey has revealed that the total cost of retail crime reached £660m between 2015-2016, up from £613m the year before.

Incidents of abuse and violence against staff jumped by 40% between 2015 and 2016, from 41 incidents per 1,000 staff to 51.

More than half (53%) of fraud crimes in retail now take place online and £100m is lost to phishing and cyber scams.

“These figures reflect a deeply concerning trend,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson. “Attacks on retail workers are intolerable, as are attempts to defraud customers. 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.”


Despite soaring cybercrime, however, shoplifting still accounts for by far the biggest share of retail crime: 75% of crime by incidents and 66% of the direct cost of retail crime (£438m).

Cuts to police budgets and organised crime groups – which have coordinated growing numbers of campaigns involving bulk theft of alcohol and similar value items, ATM fraud, fraudulent payments and ‘trolley pushouts’ – are two factors blamed for the rise by experts.

More than half (56%) of retailers now feel that the police perform either poorly or very poorly in tackling crime, down from 43% in last year’s survey – a sentiment shared, on the issue of CCTV footage, by former met chief Mick Neville.

Retail crime could be a factor in the high proportion of small-business owners who are keen to upgrade their video surveillance solutions, according to another survey commissioned by Axis Communications.

The survey, which was conducted by OnePoll, found that 84% of business owners in retail, office-based and hospitality sectors would like to invest in HD network surveillance cameras with remote monitoring and other smart features that make it easier to identify wrongdoers and secure convictions.

Many respondents claimed that poor image quality – although you don’t have to necessarily upgrade your system to enhance images – and difficult to use systems were hampering their efforts to combat crime.

Other gripes included: “bad quality of system”, “lack of ability to monitor outside of premises” and providing “limited proof of crime”.


“Pioneering technology and the benefits that come with it shouldn’t be limited to corporate entities,” said Atul Rajput, regional director of northern Europe, Axis Communications, which vies with Hikvision for the mantle of biggest network camera developer in the world. “With the help of dedicated IT and security installers, the network camera is becoming more accessible and affordable for the small business than ever before.

“Many small-business owners have an awareness that high quality, intelligent solutions are available and are looking for guidance as to how they can make the most of this to protect their premises and ultimately their bottom line. A rise in theft and the continued improvements in technology such as remote monitoring and high-quality images are only set to exacerbate this.

“As legacy video surveillance solutions become obsolete, we are witnessing a shift in the ways small businesses adopt new solutions. Once regarded as a standalone investment, many now consider IP cameras as a vital upgrade that forms a part of their larger IT infrastructure.

“Along with this, users are also looking to remotely access live and pre-recorded video footage anytime and anywhere. The ultimate benefit of this is a solution that delivers information rapidly, cost-effectively and that can benefit from the latest applications as and when they become available.”

Download Axis Communications’ market opportunity report based on the survey findings.






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