How do I protect my shop from thieves?

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), £953 million was lost to customer theft, with eight million incidents of theft over the year in 2021-22.

So, with incidents of theft and customer violence on the rise, how are you supposed to protect your shop from thieves?

Our top tips for reducing theft are explored in more detail below.

1.    Hire retail security

Retail security is by far the most effective way to reduce instances of theft – working in many ways to ensure you retain your stock and keep your staff and shoppers safe.

This is achieved by:

Deterring potential thieves

A uniformed retail security agent positioned at any main entrances, exits, and patrolling the store can be extremely off-putting to those considering stealing from your store.

Most people shoplift if they feel that they cannot be seen and have ample opportunity – making regular patrols the most efficient way of stopping theft from occurring in the first place.

Similarly, if customers know that they will be observed when exiting the shop, they will be much less likely to try to hide items in their bags or belongings, stopping stealing at self-checkout tills.

Helping to stop thieves in the act

As well as deterring them, patrols and observation from retail security officers can stop thieves in the act – saving your stock and helping to increase prosecution.

This is especially true for criminals who steal from your premises regularly.

Which can be achieved through CCTV monitoring, from live patrols in-store, or a combination of the two.

2.    Install CCTV

CCTV is also another effective way to reduce instances of theft.

Far from working as a standalone method, however, CCTV works best when monitored by on-site retail security.

This allows for:

Reduced instances of theft

Signs explaining the use of live CCTV work as another form of deterrent, helping to make shoplifting look less enticing.

As a more impartial form of recognition and evidence capture, monitored CCTV can be effective if thieves understand that their captured image can be used for prosecution in current, past or even future instances of stealing.

CCTV footage is fully admissible as evidence and can be very difficult to argue with – making it the perfect form of evidence!

Criminal apprehension and evidence capture

Monitored CCTV also makes it possible for criminals to be stopped in the act – helping to keep stock in your store, punish those responsible for their crimes, and increase prosecution.

Most often, CCTV will be watched by trained retail security and if they are suspicious of an individual’s behaviour, they will report to security on the shop floor, who can patrol and intercept the crime in real time.

3.    Change your shop layout 

The final method of protecting your store is to change your shop layout.

This change moves high value items that are commonly stolen, including washing detergent, alcohol, baby formula, dairy products, meats, and coffee, to areas of the shop where staff can keep a closer eye on them.

Moving these products makes it harder for customers or thieves to sneak them into bags or coats without being observed, stopping shoplifting.

You can pair a changed shop layout with other methods, such as security tags or dummy products, which also reduce instances of theft.

High-quality, effective retail security from T-Class

The most effective way to reduce theft is to find SIA-approved, trained, professional retail security that can perform a wide range of duties, from CCTV monitoring to intervening with criminals, with confidence and excellent customer service.

This allows them to vastly reduce instances of shoplifting – if not stopping it all together.

To put together a bespoke retail security service package, no matter your needs or the size of your retail premises, contact our team today. You can call us on 0203 794 8182  or email us at  and our experts will be in touch as soon as they can.

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