Following recent reports of increased violence towards retail staff, online marketplace, OnBuy.com found14 per cent of wholesale and retail businesses experienced anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the last 12 months.
OnBuy.com analysed a report published by the Home Office, entitled: Crime Against Businesses: Findings from the 2017 Commercial Victimisation Survey, released in May this year.Victims of ASB were asked how, if at all, the experience of anti-social behaviour impacted on the business at their premises. 38 per cent agreed it had had little to no impact, but a significant 62 per cent admitted it had had a negative impact.
34 per cent of victims felt it had a financial impact on business, 32 per cent of respondents believed it had a negative impact on custom, and a further 29 per cent said it had a negative impact on employees.
OnBuy discovered the anti- social behaviour affecting the wholesale and retail sector the most, in the last 12 months, is ‘youths hanging about on the street’ – at 41 per cent. This is followed by ‘people feeling intimidated, being threatened or verbally abused’ at 39 per cent.
‘Street drinking’ and ‘inconsiderate behaviour’ is also an issue, with a shared percentage of 22 per cent.
The anti-social behaviour experienced the least by the retail and wholesale sector, includes ‘vehicle-related incidents’ (7%) and ‘loud music’ – at 5 per cent.
Assaults and Threats
Exploring the Crime Against Business report further, OnBuy.com discovered 1,433 incidents of ‘assaults and threats’ per 1,000 wholesale and retail premises, occurred in 2017. Highlighting the need for action in the protection of shop workers – something close to heart for the NFRN (The Federation of Independent Retailers) and outlined in their Independent Retail Report 2018.
The report claims over the past year, almost two-thirds of shop workers were verbally abused, 40 per cent were threatened and approximately 250 retail staff were victims of violent assaults every single day. These are worrying numbers, in comparison to last year’s survey, with abuse and assaults up by 25 per cent and threats by 38 per cent.
Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy.com said, “what’s most worrying is that in this current climate of lawless behaviour and seemingly minimal consequence, the anti-social behaviour experienced by those in the wholesale and retail comes as no real surprise.
It may be the government needs to revisit its stance on the leniency of some of the sentences for behaviours like those listed, or put stronger, firmer measures in place to reassure staff they are protected, and consequence is on the cards for those who act out inappropriately.”