FBI Report: Retail Crime and Retail Crime Prevention
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects data on crime from law enforcement agencies across the United States. The UCR Program defines retail theft as the unlawful taking or attempted taking of property from retail establishments, such as stores, restaurants, and bars. Retail theft can be committed by individuals or by organized groups.
According to the UCR Program, there were an estimated 7.2 million retail thefts reported to law enforcement agencies in 2019. This represents a rate of 1,865.8 retail thefts per 100,000 inhabitants. The estimated value of property stolen in retail thefts in 2019 was $16.3 billion.
The most common type of retail theft is shoplifting, which accounted for 5.9 million of the 7.2 million retail thefts reported in 2019. Other common types of retail theft include employee theft, which accounted for 1.1 million thefts, and vendor theft, which accounted for 500,000 thefts.
Retail theft is a fundamental problem that costs businesses and consumers billions of dollars each year. The UCR Program data shows that retail theft is on the rise, with the rate of retail theft increasing by 1.5% from 2018 to 2019.
There are several factors that contribute to retail theft, including:
- Economic conditions: When the economy is doing well, retail theft rates tend to be lower. This is because people have more money to spend and are less likely to steal.
- Easy access to stolen goods: The internet has made it easier for people to sell stolen goods. This has led to an increase in retail theft, as people know that they can easily sell stolen goods online.
- Lack of security: Many retailers have not had a recent risk or security assessment conducted. They have no idea what security measures they need to put in place to prevent retail theft.
There are several things retailers can do to prevent retail crime, including:
- Install security cameras: Security cameras can deter thieves and help businesses identify and prosecute thieves.
- Hire security guards: Security guards can patrol businesses and deter thieves.
- Train employees on how to prevent retail theft: Employees should be trained on how to identify and prevent retail theft.
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