The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) is fully supporting the upcoming Safer Business Action Week from 16 to 22 October, coordinated by the National Business Crime Centre.
This national initiative is a focused week of activities to tackle business crime through prevention, intelligence sharing, targeted enforcement, and community engagement.
BIRA, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, said with rising crime posing a severe threat to retailers, the week encourages police forces, businesses, and the public to work together on solutions.
Activities highlighted for the week include high visibility patrols, crime prevention training, information sharing, and arrests of prolific offenders. The ShopKind campaign against retail violence will also be in focus.
Andrew Goodacre, BIRA CEO, said: “We strongly back this collaborative effort to tackle business crime through prevention, intelligence sharing, targeted enforcement, and community engagement. Independent retailers have been hit hard by theft, fraud, and violence. Urgent action is needed to protect employees and sustain vibrant high streets.”
A recent British Retail Consortium survey found a 27% increase in retail crime incidents over the past 12 months. Total losses from customer theft alone now exceed £2.8 billion annually.
Goodacre added: “Rising crime threatens the viability of independent shops and damages perceptions of local high streets. We hope this national week of action can raise awareness whilst delivering tangible improvements in safety and security.”
“Collaboration between police, businesses, and the public is essential to turn the tide. By working together, we can ensure shopping locally is safe and welcoming for all.”
During the week, BIRA urges independent retailers to connect with local police to share intelligence, request crime prevention guidance, and help bring habitual offenders to justice. Citizens are also encouraged to show support through the ShopKind initiative.