In 2012, the cost of retail crime in the UK amounted to £1.6 billion, an increase in 15.6 compared to the previous year. The £1.6 billion figure covers retail crime of all types and includes the value of goods stolen and damage done plus the money retailers spend on prevention. Numbers of incidents of crime rose across all categories apart from violence against staff and robbery.
On average, nearly one in 20 stores suffered a robbery during the year. The average cost of each incident trebled to £3,005 from £989 the previous year – a result of more serious, organised offending. Fraud accounted for 26 per cent of the total cost of retail crime last year. All types of fraud had increased with identity fraud rising for 80 per cent of retailers in the survey. E-crime accounted for 37 per cent of the total cost of crime – making it a more costly retail crime than shoplifting
The total cost of eCrime to the retail sector was £205.4 million in 2011-12. According to the study the key incidents making up the cost of crime were: “identification-related frauds such as account takeovers”, which resulted in at least £20 million of losses, card and Card-Not-Present frauds and refund frauds. Increased threats to e-commerce were also found to be linked to disruptions caused by attacks upon online trading systems. For example, over 20 per cent of retailers reported that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks caused serious or very serious disruptions to their systems in the period surveyed.
The news comes out just as another survey found that British businesses have a sloppy attitude towards cyber security. According to the research, more than half of all business owners (51%) are ‘unconcerned’ with the security of their corporate systems. Despite this attitude the BRC survey found that , in 2011-12, at least £16.5 million was spent by the retail sector to provide better protective security for customers against eCrime.
Respondents of the survey highlighted a number of concerns around the policing of eCrime. The survey found that the majority found current police responses to retail eCrime unsatisfying. “The reason for such low levels of reporting and satisfaction was that e-crime is not considered to be a priority by many police forces,” the study explains. Moreover, retailers also called for the need for more government support. “Many retailers felt that there was scope for government to offer more support to UK businesses by informing them about potential threats to their business and providing guidance or advice on how best to mitigate these threats,” the study revealed.
To find out more, click here to read the survey in full.