Retail Crime

Criminals continue to adapt and change the techniques they use to steal from businesses. Although we will never be able to eliminate shoplifting entirely by being proactive and using these handy “top tips", it should help to safeguard your premises and reduce the likelihood of a theft happening.

  • Think about the locations of your stock. Is the most valuable stock close to the door/exit?
  • Avoid placing spirits or high value goods in the shop window, this can be an irresistible invitation for opportunists to ‘smash and grab’.
  • Be helpful to your customers. A ‘Can I help you?’ shows people in your shop that you care, but also that you are vigilant.
  • Do not have any goods stored outside your premises that can be easily stolen or used by criminals to climb on to gain entry or use as a means of escape.
  • Be vigilant. Shoplifters often work in teams and while one is distracting the staff others could be taking stock or opening the till.
  • Ensure your CCTV system complies with the Data Protection Act and regularly check the quality of the images collected.
  • Position cameras towards the door/counter and high value goods.
  • Lock away employees’ personal items in a locker or locked room.
  • Always be vigilant when opening or closing the store. It’s common for criminals to force staff into the shop and get them to open the safe or tills.
  • Leave the till drawer open when the shop is closed. If you are burgled it’s much more cost effective to replace the float than a new till.
  • Always carefully check details on credit cards. Be suspicious if the person looks nervous and is making purchases of items close to the credit limit.
  • Always remember to switch on the alarm when locking up. If you have CCTV make sure it is recording 24 hours a day.
  • Keep the back door locked. Thieves often enter store rooms and remove stock while staff are on the shop floor.
  • Check all bank notes – you’d be surprised how many are counterfeit.
  • Keep a list of useful telephone numbers next to the phone, to include local Police station, Store Manager or Supervisor and a glazing company.
  • Keep high value goods on top shelves, close to the counter where staff can see them.
  • If someone tries to commit a robbery or theft - do not try to stop them. They are often desperate and dangerous people and many carry weapons. Don’t put yourself or others at risk.

We understand that not all of our suggestions will be suitable for your business, but please make sure you consider those that are.

If you need advice or support, your local Neighbourhood Policing team will be happy to help you.  You can find details of your local team via