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The National Business Crime Centre have launched new guides aimed to reduce violence against staff working in the retail industry.

The booklet helps retailers and staff identify the key drivers of violence and advice on how to prevent any associated threats of violence and abuse. The guidance covers support on three main causes of violence – age restricted sales, challenging shoplifting and dealing with offenders who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The guidance also includes the specific advice on how to deal with these scenarios. These include:

  1. Plan – Be prepared for what might happen.
  2. Early Recognition – Staff and retailers should be aware of the psychological changes and early warning signs which may indicate an incident is about to escalate.
  3. Control your behaviour – How to regulate your actions and behaviour to influence and control the offender’s actions.
  4. Think safely – Considering the safety of yourself, and your colleagues, and work together where possible.
  5. Post incident – Highlighting the importance of supporting all colleagues involved in an incident, and all witnesses who may have also been affected.
  6. Use the ‘ShopKind’ communications – Utilising the ShopKind campaign to give positive messages to customers, reminding them to treat staff with kindness, and that abuse is not tolerated in store.

Retail crime is the biggest challenge facing the independent retail sector today. Ranging from shop theft through to the physical and verbal abuse of staff, the problems faced are having an enormous impact on the independent retail sector.

The Fed believes no one should be the victim of violence or theft in their workplace and maintains all crime incidents should be reported.

To view and download the guide, click here: Reducing Violence against Staff Guide Launched (

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