Increased Internal Retail Crime And Other Statistics

Internal Retail Crime / Dec 15, 2020

CCTV in NZ retail outlets is principally used to monitor the actions of people within the store. Most of them are honest customers who will pay for the items they desire, but there is an element who will keep their money in their pocket and go for the “five-finger discount” instead. We’re talking shoplifting, and CCTV plays an important role in trying to prevent that. 

This high-tech surveillance is needed more than ever. A retail report released in 2017 showed that external crime losses e.g. shoplifting and burglary, were continuing to rise: from $479 million in 2003 to $836 million in 2017; this represented 77% of the TOTAL crime losses in the retail sector. 

Some of the other statistics make for interesting reading. For example, when it came to the location of retailers affected by retail crime, the survey revealed that 26% of them were situated on suburban high streets, with nearly 25% on rural high streets, 23% on urban high streets, 10% in a mall, and 8% in a retail park. Plus, larger retailers with yearly sales of over $10 million lost an average of 0.9% of sales to crime, compared to 1.4% for retailers with annual sales of $1 to $4 million, and 1.3% for smaller retailers with sales of less than $500,000. With retailers of all sizes operating with very fine margins, these losses are more substantial than they might appear at face value. Incidentally, it is widely accepted that larger retailers lose less as a percentage because they’re more likely to invest in loss prevention technologies.    

If we go back to that 2017 figure of $836 in losses from external crime, or 77% of the TOTAL crime losses in the retail sector, then simple maths tells us that 23% of losses were internal. In other words, employee theft or fraud. This was up from 15% in 2003 ($85 million to $249 million) so internal retail crime is a growing cause for concern. 

Most of your employees are upstanding and loyal, and of no concern at all. But if you’re worried about the actions of one of them, or a fringe element, then CCTV is a must. Even seeing a company like ours install CCTV is enough to deter many employees who have a crime on their mind. But ongoing surveillance and crystal-clear footage will be hugely beneficial to you if they don’t get the message and carry on with their dubious actions.