Recession will bring "tidal wave" of crime to garden centres risk experts warn

British retailers, including garden centres, will face a "tidal wave" of rising crime as the recession hits consumers and businesses, according to a UK's corporate risk specialists.

Training For Success managing director Ian Kirke said incidents of "internal crime", shoplifting and assaults of staff will escalate as consumers come under greater financial pressures.

Kirke warned that cutbacks in security and loss-prevention budgets will bring greater losses.

Kirke said: "Preventing crime is a significant contribution to every company's bottom line. Avoiding ‘shrinkage' - attributable to employee dishonesty - as well as stock loss through shoplifting theft will have a measureable impact.

"With consumer stress levels leading to more assaults on front-line staff, businesses may also find themselves with the additional costs of extended sick leave and having to hire temporary staff. In other words, cutting back on security is very definitely a false economy."

Disloyal employees account for 35% of shrinkage, costing £50 billion a year.

Kirke added: "Many businesses in the retail sector look upon theft as an occupational hazard and we suspect that a reasonable percentage of dishonest stock loss goes unreported.

"There have been important advancements in security systems and technologies but even when suspects are caught issues such as poor management training in this area and concerns over human rights legislation regularly result in businesses taking the ‘safe option' of issuing a warning and taking no further action."

Kirke recommended training from companies with security intelligence, law enforcement training and information gained from reformed criminals.

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