As a result, retailers around the country are now spending record amounts on crime prevention measures, spending £1.2 billion 2017/2018.

However, even with steps being taken to afford premises greater levels of security,  the losses attributed to crime climbed to £1 billion - which suggests that more must be done to help protect businesses and their members of staff.

Where theft and damage is concerned, there were 17 per cent more incidents of this kind this year, with customer theft representing the most significant type of loss and damage, making up about 94 per cent of all recorded incidents and 79 per cent of the total loss.

The Ministry of Justice recently revealed, following a written question in Parliament by MP Philip Davies, just how many shoplifting offences people might be convicted of before receiving an immediate custodial sentence. In 2016, one individual received their first sentence only after 435 offences.

Key recommendations within the report include improving sentencing, with penalties and sentences increased for people attacking shopworkers, as well as reviewing the sentencing guidelines for assault.

A review of the out of court disposals system to make sure that the root cause of offending is being tackled, instead of simply handing out fines to repeat offenders.

The report also makes it clear that there is an obvious trend of either violence or the threat of it being used for thefts involving smaller amounts of money, including under £200. BRC members are now saying that the £200 threshold in legislation has sent some unhelpful messages to police on the ground.

It appears that a perception seems to have evolved inside police forces that they should not and therefore will not attend a shop theft for less than £200 worth of goods stolen.

In terms of violence directed towards employees, the figures appear to have broadly plateaued - but they’re still extremely high.

There are 102 incidents a day (down from 115), but what is perhaps most concerning is that many of the violent incidents recorded are more serious, with BRC members saying unanimously that weapons are being used more readily and staff injuries are becoming more severe.

In her foreword to the report, chief executive of the BRC Helen Dickinson said: “[This] should be a wake up for many of our politicians. For too long they have left retail workers to fend for themselves. Let us now take seriously the impact of violence in retail and make the legal repercussions for these crimes match the level of harm it causes to our hard-working retail colleagues.”

Research carried out last year by the Association of Convenience Stores found that 86 per cent of retailers were dissatisfied with the sanctions issued to offenders following a crime against their business, while 85 per cent were unhappy with the consistency of police response.

There are numerous ways in which businesses can protect their own interests and carrying out a risk assessment to see if there are any areas of improvements would be a good first step towards increasing security.

Investing in better security doors could prove useful, especially if you’ve been targeted before and this is how access was gained. Intruders will want to make as little noise as possible when trying to force entry into a premises and the tougher your doors, the more likely it is that they’ll give up and leave sooner rather than later.

You could also look into other deterrents, such as CCTV cameras. As soon as these are spotted, people may well think twice about targeting you and your business. You could even just put up a few stickers suggesting the presence of cameras, even if you haven’t had them installed yet as a short-term measure.

If you’d like any help or advice relating to business security, get in touch with the team here at UK Shop Front Specialists. We have a lot of experience in this particular field and will be able to advise you on how best to go about making your site secure. 

We can also design, fabricate and install shopfronts, so give us a call to discuss which package would be best for you and your business.