[Press & Publications] Latest Issue of Security Journal Includes Striking New Findings



February 2000

No 17

  • Businesses have not the time to tackle crime
  • American levels of victimisation could hit Europe
  • Store detectives are under-utilised

    The latest issue of the Security Journal edited by staff at the internationally renowned Scarman Centre at the University of Leicester includes striking new findings.

    Professor John Sparrow and Fay Goodman found that small businesses believe they are able to take steps to protect themselves from crime. However, they lack the time and opportunity to meet other businesses to tackle shared issues.

    Dr Martin Gill, Centre Director and co-editor states: 'These days everyone is discussing shared approaches, it is a central part of the Government attempts to promote community safety. In reality businesses have other priorities, and a tendency to look after the bottom line rather than worry about community approaches which have few tangible benefits. Sparrow and Goodman are right to remind us that if we wish to get businesses involved, and there is considerable potential then we need to be more realistic'.

    Professor Bonnie Fisher and Johanna Looye found that 1 in 8 businesses in the USA were crime victims, and that repeat victimisation was common and lament the high levels of victimisation found in the USA.

    Bonnie Fisher from the University of Cincinnati and presently a Visiting Fellow at the Scarman Centre stated: 'In Europe people are more fortunate, they do not have to contend with large number of armed offenders preying on businesses for easy pickings. But the warning signs are there, and unless research findings are heeded and acted upon the rather depressing victimisation rates for American businesses will become a reality over here.'

    Read Hayes reports on a study of store detectives and found that the work they are undertaking today, protecting stores from shop thieves, has changed little over the last thirty years. The impact of technology appears to be fairly marginal.

    Adrian Beck, assistant editor and lecturer at the Scarman Centre observes: 'There is unquestionably greater scope for using store detectives more effectively. The real skill is to combine the potential of technology with effective management of store detectives. At present retailers have failed to heed the lessons and many suffer unnecessary losses'.

    Dr Martin Gill can be contacted on 0116 252 5709; Adrian Beck on 0116 252 2830, Bonnie Fisher on 0116 252 5780.


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