A study by RGDATA has found that the use of violence in retail crime has almost trebled since 2012. The survey of independent retailers found that over 90% of retailers were victims of crime in the past year.
Worryingly, violence was used in 28% of these crimes, compared to 10% in 2011, with the use of guns, knives, hammers and syringes increasingly prevalent.
According to the study, 60% of retailers said that retail crime was a severe threat to their business in 2012. In 2011,just 10% of retailers deemed retail crime to be a “severe threat” to their business.
"The vast majority of the retailers we surveyed were satisfied with Gardai response times and reactions," said says Tara Buckley, Director General, RGDATA. "However they are deeply frustrated with the legal system and believe that higher penalties and zero tolerance needs to be adopted as a matter of urgency. At a time when retailers are fighting to survive they are forced to pay double what they paid in 2011 on security. This crisis of retail crime without serious repercussion needs to end."
Other findings of the survey include: only 25% of perpetrators were prosecuted and convicted this year; 97% of retailers feel more vulnerable in recent years than in the past; 80% of retailers are now concerned about tiger kidnappings compared to just 10% in 2011.