Retail crime costing the industry $1 billion a year, new report finds

Retail crime is getting more violent and is costing the industry around $1 billion a year, a new report has found.

A report released today by Retail New Zealand and Otago University has found retailers are facing increasingly organised and violent criminals.

But it’s not just violent robberies, petty crime such as shop lifting is also getting worse.

Retail NZ says many retailers are having to take on the cost of protecting their staff and goods themselves.

"It’s a significant amount of money that ultimately is being paid for by all consumers because the price is being reflected in the goods,” Greg Hartford from Retail NZ said.

In 2003, at the last time of the last report, the total cost of crime was $564 million. This year it's $1.085 billion.

“It’s costing everyone money. It’s not only the retailers, but their families, communities and the country as a whole,” Crime Prevention Group chair Sunny Kaushal said.

The report shows 81 per cent of retailers having been impacted by some form of crime in the past 12 months.

The largest loss was to grocery, convenience, food and liquor stores.

Respondents in the report say they've noticed criminals being more brazen - including taking items in full sight of staff - and being more aggressive.

"Theft is still the most common form of crime in retail but the crime is becoming more aggravated, its becoming more threatening and often staff are put in situations they really shouldn't be put in,” Mr Hartford said.

Key recommendations in the report include government action in the form of funding a retail crime taskforce, setting targets for a reduction in retail crime and introducing an infringement notice for low-value offending to help deter retail crime.

"Retailers are concerned about the level of crime and its one of the reasons why NZ First and Labour are bringing 1800 more police officers. At the moment that police force is absolutely stretched, they're being asked to prioritise different levels of crime,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

Mr Nash met with Retail NZ to discuss the report this week, and reiterated that assault should always be reported and investigated but shoplifting will be a lower priority given stretched police resources.

Small business owners from Auckland will travel to parliament next week to meet with Mr Nash to discuss how to combat retail crime.

A new study out today shows retailers are facing more organised and violent crimes. Source: 1 NEWS

Video: Israel Institute of NZ welcomes Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem

The Israel Institute of New Zealand has welcomed today’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the state’s capital and it is calling on the New Zealand government to follow suit.

Israel Institute of New Zealand Director David Cumin said the move allows an opportunity for the new government to repair some of the damage done by previous ones.

The Institute believes there is no reason why the relocated US embassy should be seen as a barrier to the establishment of Palestine.

The move has faced criticism from US allies in the Muslim world.

Palestinian officials have called it a "kiss of death" for the Middle East.

However, Israel’s Prime Minister welcomed the recognition, he said the Jewish people will be “forever grateful.”

Its director is now calling for the New Zealand government to do the same. Source: 1 NEWS


'I almost died in a car accident' – James Shaw reveals near miss ahead of Winston's election decision

James Shaw has revealed a close call with death on the night Winston Peters announced he would be forming a coalition with Labour, as the Green Party entered into a confidence and supply agreement in government. 

During his election review yesterday, Mr Shaw spoke about the tumultuous election campaign the Green Party experienced, which saw poll results drop below the five per cent threshold and the party lose its co-leader Metiria Turei. 

Despite the rocky ride, Mr Shaw said he thought Mr Peters would choose to go with Labour as the slogan 'Had Enough?' indicated a move against the "status quo" of the National Party.

However, it was when Mr Shaw was on his way to hear NZ First's announcement when he had a very near-miss. 

"It was an incredibly positive night, enough though I almost died in a car accident on the way there," he said. 

"Going round a round-about and a driver came out of our left hand side and came that [he indicates about a foot] close to knocking us off the road.

"I thought, that would have been quite the end to the campaign wouldn't it?

"How appropriate," he joked. 

More content from the election review speeches

The Deputy Prime Minister said New Zealand First chose a "harder path of change". Source: 1 NEWS

The heart-warming moment saw Ms Ardern tell the children, "I was just at a real low point". Source: 1 NEWS

A large opposition presence in select committees will ensure life won't be easy for the Labour-led Government. Source: 1 NEWS

In his election review, the Green Party's James Shaw joked about how his campaign almost ended in disaster. Source: 1 NEWS