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ACS Crime Survey finds a disturbing increase in shoplifting – Usdaw calls for retail crime to be taken seriously

Date: 22 March 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw is deeply concerned by today’s new figures from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) revealing record levels of shop theft in convenience stores last year. This adds to evidence from police recorded crime statistics showing increases in shoplifting over the last year, ending a decade-long downward trend.
The ACS ‘Voice of Local Shops’ survey of over 1,200 independent retailers has shown that 63% of independent retailers reported that theft in their businesses had either increased (35%) or stayed the same (28%) over the last year, with just 9% reporting a decrease in levels of shop theft.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says: “Theft from shops has long been a major flashpoint for violence and abuse against shopworkers. Usdaw’s own survey found that shoplifting was the trigger for nearly a third of verbal and physical attacks on retail staff. Having to deal with repeated and persistent shoplifters can cause issues beyond the theft itself like anxiety, fear and in some cases physical harm to retail workers. It is disturbing to see evidence from the ACS report and police recorded crime stats showing that shoplifting is on the increase.
“Our annual survey found that three-quarters of retail workers suffered abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence. Faced with such appallingly high levels of violence and abuse much more needs to be done. The Government must provide the c-oordination needed to ensure that retail employers, police and the courts work together to make stores safe places for our members to work and for customers to shop.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 350,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk

ACS - Local shops report record levels of theft over last year: https://www.acs.org.uk/press-releases/local-shops-report-record-levels-theft-over-last-year

Final results of the Usdaw 2022 survey, based on 7,752 responses, show that (last year’s results in brackets): 74.26% (89%) were verbally abused, 49.25% (63%) were threatened. 7.92% (12%) had been assaulted. 40.88% said violence, threats and abuse caused them anxiety at work and 29.97% are now considering changing job. The full report can be found at: www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFReport2022 
Comparison 2019 2020 2021 2022
Abuse 68% 88% 89% 74%
Threats 43% 61% 63% 49%
Violence 5% 9% 12% 8%
Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear Campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers by engaging the public, shopworkers and the Government. www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers