December 13, 2023
Shoplifting, abuse, and assaults causing devastating impact for retailers – Louise O’Reilly TD

Speaking after an Oireachtas Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee hearing on shoplifting, Sinn Féin spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD, said the evidence and testimonies from retailers and business stakeholders laid bare the impact that shoplifting, and the verbal and physical abuse of staff, is having on the retail sector.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Representatives from the Retail Grocery Dairy and Allied Trades Association (RGDATA), the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA), Musgrave Group spoke to the Committee about how crime, fraud, abuse, assault, theft, and shoplifting happen every day in their members stores.

“RGDATA raised the cost of retail crime to businesses, highlighting how one of their members estimated that stock shrinkage and security measures cost them over €250,000 annually.

“The scale of such losses, in what are low margin businesses, strikes right at the heart of the viability of the sector.

“In addition, staff and owners are increasingly having to deal with a significant level of personal risk.

“The CSNA stated that the most worrying aspect of shoplifting today is the accompanying threats, the actual violence, the obscenities, the misogyny, and the vile racist abuse levelled at owners and staff.

“All present at the Committee indicated that the situation was undermining the motivation of retailers to stay in business and of staff to stay working in retail.

“Unless the situation is addressed, workers will continue to be put at risk, retailers will continue to lose tens of thousands in stock, and broader society will suffer.

“It is imperative that shoplifting is treated with the seriousness it deserves and that there is a sustained Garda presence on the main shopping streets of our towns and cities. A Sinn Féin government would invest in policing to ensure communities can feel safe and protected.”

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