Report: Crime Increases Tied to Economy

Arlington, Va. Besides having a negative impact on consumers’ spending confidence, the economic downturn is now being blamed for an upward trend of crimes against retailers, according to a new report from The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

According to RILA’s “Current Crime Trends Survey,” 84% of chains reported an increase in theft and amateur shoplifting. Financial fraud is also on an upswing, affecting 76% of retailers.

Organized retail crime is taking its toll on the industry, as 80% of chains have noticed an increase in crime rings. Seventy-seven percent of specialty retailers alone reported increases in organized theft.

While the increases aren’t surprising, retailers are surprised to see incidents occurring in regions that are not typically prone to such high levels of unlawful activity, the report said.

According to The Global Retail Theft Barometer, released by the Centre for Retail Research, U.S. retailers spent $11.799 billion last year on loss-prevention efforts. That price tag is sure to increase since surveyed retailers reported that they are working diligently to bring these rising-loss trends to a standstill.

They hope to accomplish this through improvements in their operations, resource allocation, and capital spending. They also continue to build strong partnerships with law enforcement and work with state and federal legislators to find solutions.

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