We know that dealing with shoplifting, and retail crime in general, is a daily chore that so many of our members face. That’s why we are actively working with retailers and the Police to address the problem.

Although shop theft is not new, the frequency of incidents and the brazen nature of the theft is increasing. Retailers are also telling us that there seems to be an increase in violence during these incidents.

We know that many shop thieves are amateur opportunists, but we also hear that shop thieves are increasingly organised, with many gangs stealing to order.

Some even purchase some items from a store, ‘topping up’ their basket with a few items that they don’t pay for. This may seem like ‘small change’ to thieves, but to the retailer, it adds up very quickly.

Unfortunately, retailers have a real concern from our members about Police responsiveness to retail crime issues, with a widespread view that (outside incidences of violence) Police responses to retail crime reporting is pretty poor. Some retailers don’t even bother reporting incidents to the police anymore.

There seems to be a real lack of understanding of just how much this crime is costing retailers, and the New Zealand economy. We know this figure is around $1.3 billion – that’s $1.3 billion being stolen from the New Zealand economy, every year! There is also a real human toll at the end of retail crime, on those whose jobs require them to deal with it.

We are working closely with the Police to address this issue; at a recent meeting, the Police told us they were keen to work with us to and to develop some practical steps for businesses to follow to mitigate the risk of crime. They asked us to make sure that retailers do report all instances of retail crime – helping to accurately inform the statistics around it. Information sharing is considered key to mitigating the risk of crime and that’s why we encourage all retailers to report retail crime to the Police.

The more information the Police have, the better informed they are to identify, address and solve retail crimes.

We’ve teamed-up with RISQ New Zealand, to help businesses protect their people, assets and information as well as their reputation. RISQ provides affordable solution to help keep your staff safe in the event of a robbery – and we have a deal with them for Retail NZ members.

Retail crime is a big issue that Retail NZ is working on. Please, if you are experiencing retail crime within your business, make sure you take the time to report it.

If you have any comments or questions about the work we are doing to address retail crime in New Zealand, feel free to get in contact with us.

By Annika Chapman, Public Affairs / Policy Advisor. 

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