Retail crime is a pervasive issue throughout many parts of the UK, and it has certainly taken hold in the city of York. When someone refers to retail crime, they generally refer to the theft of merchandise. Thefts can occur on different scales. Small thefts are committed by one person, but organised crime rings commit large scale thefts as well. Several factors come into play if a community wishes to stop this issue. Understanding retail crime takes time and patience, but it is worth the effort to make a stand against it.
Petty theft is categorised as theft on a smaller scale. It involves the theft by one or more people on smaller items. Although the cost of the items might not be much, it does add up. The best way to help stop petty theft is to develop a system where employees understand the warning signs. Employee training enables the employees to recognise suspicious behaviour. It allows them to follow a person in a store so that they can witness the theft taking place. If a person is caught stealing early on in their criminal career, then they are much less likely to continue on that path.
Organised theft is much harder to stop. These types of thefts are more successful because they are planned out. Groups of people plan a heist from start to finish, and they often keep their plans a secret. Unfortunately, some organised thefts are performed by families. Kids are used to distract employees so that the parents can make off with clothes, jewels, or other items. In some rare instances, young kids are trained to commit the crimes themselves, since they are not usually the prime suspects. Anyone who orchestrates a theft on a larger scale must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Improved security measures are a step in the right direction. Additional cameras and security offers are a great deterrent against would-be thieves. Warnings suggesting the use of cameras often keeps thieves from attempting a major heist on a store. Improvements in security alarms and cameras helps police to track down the criminals much more quickly as well.
One of the reasons why retail theft is so impactful is that it hurts the local economy of York and other cities in the UK. When thefts become a regular occurrence, then the prices go up. This means that small businesses must charge local community members more money for their goods and services. This, in turn, hurts business. The people who do not understand this relationship between business and customer often turn their backs on local businesses. In order for a community to flourish, retail theft must be stopped.