Record number of violent and abusive incidents against retail staff reported by BRC

    424 violent or abusive incidents a day

      • Sector News
    • 02.02.20

    A record number of violent and abusive incidents against retail staff were revealed in the British Retail Consortium’s annual Crime Survey, which was published before lockdown. 

    Annual incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff have risen to just under 155,000, which equates to 424 violent or abusive incidents every day of the year. This is an increase of 9% when compared to 2017/18 when there were just under 142,000 incidents or 388 per day. 

    Speaking about the figures, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson OBE, said: "These are not just statistics; these are real people who work hard for millions of customers every day. From abuse to threats, to violence, those affected carry these experiences with them for a lifetime. The Government must help put an end to the scourge of retail crime."

    BRC: 2020 Retail crime survey

    Maybo perspective

    • Retailers have been living with appalling levels of violence and disruptive behaviour for years and these latest BRC figures represent a continued and deeply concerning upward trend. And that was before COVID kicked-in!
    • Risks of physical assault are greatest when interacting with suspected thieves and much verbal abuse and aggression is linked to disruptive and anti-social behaviour. Since these BRC Survey findings, COVID:19 has created further conflict 'flash points' linked to restrictions on goods and services and to social distancing/face coverings.
    • Supporting frontline workers with clear guidance and training has never been more important. Maybo's latest programmes cover COVID:19 related conflict and how to reduce and manage this safely, plus the 'normal' scenarios retail workers sadly continue to experience on a day to day basis.
    • Our latest eLearning course, ‘Reducing Conflict and Violence Risks’, explores how retailer workers can communicate positively with customers and reduce risk in difficult situations, such as dealing with angry customers, theft and disruptive behaviours. click here

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