Shop theft in c-stores is costing the sector £44m a year, an Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) report has revealed.

The Crime Report 2014, launched at the ACS Crime Seminar today, included research into incidents suffered by retailers and crime prevention advice.

It revealed that shop theft was the most common crime suffered by the industry, with 65% of retailers reporting either the same number or more incidents of shop theft in 2013 than the previous year. It also found that retailers believe 25% of theft goes undetected by them and their staff.

The report also showed that the average cost per incident of robbery in 2013 was £1,792, with the total cost of robberies to the convenience sector rising to £4.1m. The average burglary will also cost a retailer £2,586, with the total cost of burglaries to the convenience sector in 2013 reaching £17.8m.

Just under half (49%) of respondents reported the same or an increase in the number of incidents of violence and physical abuse in the past year.

The report illustrated how independent retailers are protecting themselves against crime, with the sector having invested £14m in crime prevention measures in 2013.

The Crime Report also offers guidance on managing and identifying crime in different areas of the store, as well as suggestions on establishing crime prevention partnerships with other businesses and local police forces.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Tackling crime in store is one of the biggest challenges faced by convenience retailers. The report gives retailers simple-to-follow, targeted guidance which enables them to reduce criminal activity and build relationships with local enforcement agencies.”

The guidance is available to download at, with printed copies available on request.