GettyImages-1081635852 (1)

The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) has called for more transparency when it comes to prosecution figures relating to retail crimes.

According to Police Scotland, the Protection of Workers (Retail) Act has been used 7,056 times to report retail specific cases of abuse or assault of staff and retailers between when it came into force in August 2021 and 2 July 2023.

Urging more detail, the SGF has contacted the Scottish Government, the Lord Advocate and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service calling for the figures on referrals and convictions relating to the Act to be made public.

The SGF annual Scottish Retail Crime Report revealed that 100% of respondents experience shop theft at least once a day and all experience abuse, violence or Hate Crime on a regular basis. In addition, SGF have approached the Scottish Government to refresh their joint Don’t Put Up With It campaign, delivered in collaboration with Crime Stoppers.

Chief Executive Dr Pete Cheema OBE said: “Retail crime and shop theft is a very serious issue for convenience stores and our members. People should not have to come to work knowing they will likely have to put up with threats, abuse and potentially violence.

“Reports of increased shoplifting are coming in from number of sources. Alongside a rise in anti-social behaviour toward staff and within stores. It is not only staff wellbeing and businesses that are being impacted by these crimes, but families and the wider community as well.

“While we welcome the figures on the POW Act provided by Police Scotland, we really need to know how many of those cases are being brought to justice. That would encourage more retailers to report the crimes happening in-store, daily, and could be an effective way of making potential perpetrators think twice.”