In July 2020, the Home Office published a “call for evidence” addressing violence and abuse towards shop staff, recognising that physical violence faced by shop staff can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing.
During the Covid-19 pandemic an increase in violence and abuse towards shopworkers has been identified and under reported. As non-essential retail premises have been closed during lockdown, offenders have targeted essential stores that have remained opened during the pandemic. This has generated a number of conflicts due to measures being put in place by the stores to prevent the spread of the virus e.g. social distancing rules, face coverings etc.
Abuse and violence towards shopworkers is a bigger problem than many people might think, with at least 400 shopworkers abused every day.
Warwickshire County Council Community Safety Team and Warwickshire Police have initiated a local partnership campaign supported by the Association of Convenience Stores, National Business Crime Centre and Home Office addressing issues the retail sector is facing and provide crime prevention and awareness advice to members of the public and businesses.
- Encourage positive behaviours in shops and licensed premises acknowledging the key role of shopworkers and staff.
- Promote crime prevention and awareness of retail related incidents, fraud and scams.
- Address violence and abuse against shopworkers.
In addition, a local ‘Your Say Survey’ has been conducted and launched in February 2020. The aim of the survey was to help inform the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board about what matters to local residents of Warwickshire, both at a national and neighbourhood level. The Business Crime element was also part of the survey, whereby a lack of business respondents was identified for the retail sector, whereby 6% of respondents were most concerned about the Shoplifting element, followed by 39% for Theft and Burglary.
Most of crime within the retail sector is preventable and therefore good crime prevention will reduce vulnerability and increase awareness amongst members of the public and businesses within the sector.
The project includes a two-week digital campaign running from 17th–31st May 2021 raising awareness of the risks of retail crime, how to spot the signs of a shoplifter, as well as advice and guidance on how businesses can protect themselves from falling victim.
Warwickshire Business Crime Guide has been developed with a view of supporting businesses protect themselves from crime. Includes practical tips and crime prevention advice for small businesses and licensed premises across Warwickshire.
Warwickshire Business Crime Guide – Download
The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative Limited (WRCI) is a County wide Partnership approach to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in retail and licensed business premises in Warwickshire with members in Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Rugby, Atherstone, Nuneaton and Bedworth and villages in Warwickshire.
Our team is working to bring businesses together to work in partnership with the Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Warwickshire County Council, District Councils, CCTV, BIDS, the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships and other national and local organisations to tackle crime and disorder in our business communities.
Benefits of membership:
- Use of the DISC App to submit reports and view offender images both known and unknown
- View individuals excluded from WRCI member premises
- WRCI stickers to identify a premises as a member
- Participation in the exclusion order scheme
- Services of the WRCI Administrators
- Over 500 members to share information with
- Access to over 450 offender profiles
- Access to the instant message facility on the DISC App
- A weekly newsletter containing links to the latest news, alerts, documents and upcoming events
Downloadable posters and badges
ShopKind is for the whole retail sector. We are encouraging all retailers to download the print and social media campaign materials below and use them in stores. They can be found using the following link https://nbcc.police.uk/crime-prevention/shopkind-webpage.
For more information on crime prevention packs for the retail sector please contact your local Business Crime Advisor via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about the ShopKind campaign or would like to be added to the ShopKind Campaign mailing list, please contact Edward Woodall, ACS Government Relations Director, via Edward.email@example.com.