Jo Whitfield: Retail faces a crime epidemic and the violence must stop

jo whitfield

The latest statistics show that assaults and threats against shop workers have risen threefold with workers falling victim to 42,000 violent incidents each year.

That’s 115 colleagues physically attacked every day, with many more verbally abused and threatened.

Estimates show that assaults and threats toward retail and wholesale staff are at their highest level yet – and about two-fifths (39%) of violent incidents result in injury.

The British Retail Consortium states that industry spend on crime control has reached a record level, having surpassed £1bn per annum for the first time. 

‘Retail crime’ is often ignored and somehow considered victimless. But we shouldn’t forget that behind each and every statistic is a person who has directly experienced violence or verbal abuse while simply doing their job.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.