Staggering increase in retail crime revealed in latest trade body report

Staggering increase in retail crime revealed in latest trade body report

Convenience stores across the UK have recorded a staggering 5.6 million incidents of shop theft over the last year, according to the latest data from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The trade body’s 2024 Crime Report outlines the scale of retail crime and reveals that retailers have recorded over 600 incidents of theft an hour over the last year.

With the top motivations for repeat offending being drug or alcohol addiction, organised crime and opportunism, some 76% of retailers believe organised crime has become more prevalent in the last year.

A shocking 87% of colleagues in convenience stores have faced verbal abuse over the last year, with two thirds (67%) of retailers believing that the cost-of-living crisis has led to an increase in theft.

The ACS report also highlights a huge increase in violent incidents committed against retailers and their colleagues, with approximately 76,000 incidents of violence in shops compared to 41,000 in the 2023 Crime Report.


Retailers are doing what they can to fight back by investing in crime prevention and detection measures, with £339m spent over the last year in areas including CCTV, security staff, intruder alarms and internal communication systems.

However, the 2024 figures show that more action is needed, according to the ACS.

The body is calling on the government to take a number of actions to support retailers amidst the crime crisis including delivering justice for shopworkers and effective sanctions for offenders.

It is also calling for additional police resources to focus on neighbourhood policing to keep communities safe and support further investment in technology to deter and detect criminals.