BIRA supports national initiative aimed at turning tide on shoplifting rise
A Safer Business Action Week is being coordinated across the UK in a bid to support companies and retailers and reduce business crime, including shoplifting.
The National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) has launched the initiative, starting on Monday, 17 October, with police forces and partners working together on targeted operations in towns and city centres, running high-profile press and social media campaigns and engaging with local firms, retailers and the community to raise awareness of business crime in each area.
And the British Independent Retailers’ Association (BIRA) has thrown its full support behind the move, saying that it encourages police, businesses and the public to work together on solutions as rising crime levels are posing a severe threat to retailers.
“Collaboration between police, businesses, and the public is essential to turn the tide. By working together, we can ensure shopping locally is safe and welcoming for all,” said BIRA ceo Andrew Goodacre.
Supt Patrick Holdaway, lead for the NBCC, explained: “The week of action is an opportunity to bring police and partners together to tackle the key issues of business crime in their communities.
“Each police force taking part will be holding various crime prevention activities and initiatives to increase engagement with local businesses and retail outlets and tackle some of the most prolific offenders.”
Businesses trading on High Streets and town centres are also encouraged to get involved and display the NBCC’s ShopKind messaging in store – the campaign unites the retail sector to tackle violence and abuse against workers by asking people to ShopKind when in stores, and all its materials are free to download here.
A recent British Retail Consortium survey found a 27% increase in retail crime incidents over the past 12 months, and total losses from customer theft alone now exceed £2.8billion annually.
BIRA works with over 6,000 indie businesses of all sizes, and many members are reporting declining foot traffic and lost sales due to safety fears.
Andrew commented: “We strongly back this collaborative effort to tackle business crime through prevention, intelligence sharing, targeted enforcement, and community engagement.
“Independent retailers have been hit hard by theft, fraud, and violence. Urgent action is needed to protect employees and sustain vibrant High Streets.
“Rising crime threatens the viability of independent shops and damages perceptions of local High Streets. We hope this national week of action can raise awareness while delivering tangible improvements in safety and security.”