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More than one in two Swedish merchants fell victim to crime in the first quarter

The vulnerability to crime in commerce in Sweden continues to increase significantly. Over half of the stores were subjected to some form of crime during the previous quarter, and this month's figure is one of the highest ever recorded by the Safety Barometer. Earlier, the UK and Germany reported of an increase in crime at stores.

Security index, which is the percentage of stores subjected to either theft, petty theft, threats, or violence in connection with theft, burglary, threatening behaviour, or attempted fraud, was 52% during the first quarter of 2024, which is an increase compared to the previous quarter, when the figure was 45%. Thus, it can be concluded that the beginning of 2024, from a security perspective, has been very challenging for commerce. This is mentioned by Svensk Handel.

Photo © Aksakalko |

'We are now presenting very grim figures. We are in a situation where crime has become everyday life for merchants and their employees, and very little indicates that the situation will improve in the short term,' says Nina Jelver, security chief at Svensk Handel.

Thefts increased significantly during the first quarter
The crime that merchants report being most frequently subjected to is theft. During the first quarter, 45% reported that they had been subjected to theft or petty theft at some point during the past week. This is a significant increase compared to the previous quarter. Every year, over 8.5 billion is stolen within Swedish commerce, and the crime is becoming increasingly normalised.

'Actually, we are not very surprised by the significant increase in thefts. Every day we receive calls from desperate merchants who, despite various security solutions, see how the thefts continue unabated. The fact that columnists and opinion-makers in major newspapers have repeatedly practically encouraged theft in daily commerce further normalises the behaviour. It is, to say the least, a dangerous development,' says Nina Jelver.

More thefts are reported
A slight increase in reporting willingness is noted in this quarter's Safety Barometer. Just over a third of merchants reported that they had reported the thefts that the store had suffered. It is still an alarmingly low figure. In addition, Swedish Commerce continues to receive information that the law on access prohibition to stores, which was intended to protect merchants and their employees, is not applied consistently and effectively by law enforcement authorities.

'It is positive that more people are now making a police report, but the figure is still far too low. The fact that every fifth merchant refrains from making a report because it rarely leads anywhere should give pause for thought for the police. We continue to urge our members to report all crimes. That is the most effective way to highlight the seriousness to politicians and the Police Authority,' says Nina Jelver.

More information:
Svensk Handel

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