Crime in convenience stores is on the decrease as retailers invest more to protect their businesses, according to the latest Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Crime Survey.

The survey of over 3,500 stores revealed that store crime had decreased almost across the board with a 47% drop in reported staff theft in 2010 compared to the previous year.  The amount stolen per instance dropped a massive 90%.

Retailers also reported that robberies dropped by 58% in 2010, but the overall value stolen per instance rose from £115.64 to £166.37, a 44% increase.

The number of burglaries fell 29% compared to the previous year and instances of verbal abuse also dropped 24%. However, there was no change in violence towards shop staff while vandalism rose 8% compared to 2009.

The ACS said that this fall in crime has come at a great cost to retailers who had invested significant amounts into their business to deter criminals.

One area of concern for the ACS was the rise in cost to the retailer of each robbery. According to the survey, the average cost to the retailer jumped from £994 in 2009 to £2,880 in 2010, a 190% increase.

“These numbers show that retailers must take extra precautions to protect their high value goods and cash in-store,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman. “The average cost of robberies also accounts for repairs to a store and shows that as convenience retailers improve their standards and crime prevention measures, bringing stores back up to that standard after they are damaged during a robbery is becoming more expensive.”

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