Enough is Enough – CSNA Survey shows shocking levels of abuse
The CSNA has said ‘enough is enough’ after its 2020 National Security Report revealed shocking levels of abuse towards retailers and their staff.
The 2020 National Security Report makes for grim reading. The independent retail association represents over 1,500 members, all convenience store owners, forecourt operators and newsagents.
“As we approach the busy Christmas period, CSNA hopes that the public would be more conscious of the issues raised in the security report and to simply be kinder to their local shopkeeper and their staff. Retailers and their valued employees are exasperated” said CSNA’s chief officer Vincent Jennings.
The Government, An Garda Síochána and the judiciary are all being called on to act decisively as retailers demand zero tolerance in their fight against crime in their sector.
The findings of the survey are alarming.
Almost five hundred retailers took time out to complete it amid this very busy and stressful time, to voice their collective dismay at the security risks posed to retailers and their staff on a daily basis in Ireland.
The highest percentage of those represented in the report were convenience store owners accounting for 81% of those surveyed.
Violent and threatening behaviour
Aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour, verbal abuse, shoplifting and the cost of crime are all covered in the concise report. The response of An Garda Síochána to instances of retail crime, the adequacy and enforcement of legislation, repeat offenders and retailers faith in the justice system make for an interesting read, with 88% of retailers surveyed stating that legislation and its enforcement in the retail sector is insufficient.
80% of the retailers surveyed reported that they or a member of their staff had experienced an incident involving aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour within the previous three months. It is notable, 45% of those suffered this injustice within a month of the survey being conducted.
Furthermore, 58% of those surveyed or their staff are subjected to verbal abuse on a weekly basis with as many as 23% enduring it on a daily basis in their stores.
Retailers surveyed stated that triggers for violence include confronting shoplifters, refusing to serve and enforcing age restrictions. While 90% of those surveyed suggested that the people perpetrating these unlawful acts are repeat offenders.
The most common shoplifted items included alcohol, confectionery, toiletries and meat.
81% of retailers surveyed had invested in security measures in their store within the past 12 months with CCTV, staff training, cash handling and storage and external security proving the most necessary areas of investment.
Vincent Jennings continued “This isn’t just about our members, it also represents the many thousands of staff that work in our convenience stores, forecourts and newsagents nationwide. We are at the coalface of this persistent risk and intolerable behaviour, many on a daily basis. It is simply not acceptable, not for our members and certainly not for their valued employees.
“It is without question, the pandemic has people on edge and acting irrationally in some instances, however the issues outlined in this report are not specifically COVID-19 related and are unfortunately with us on a daily basis.”
CSNA is calling on elected representatives, An Garda Síochána and the judiciary for stronger legislation and greater enforcement within the retail sector. The retail industry is worth over €7 billion to the exchequer, employing almost 285,000 people, over 72% of whom are outside of the Dublin area providing key services all over the country.
They are also calling on members of the public to be kinder and to treat those working in retail with the respect they truly deserve. The CSNA has asked the public to show their support for their local store by sharing this report online with the hashtag #EnoughIsEnough.