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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92066 Find in a Library
Title: Reflections on Retailers and Crime (From Retailers as Victims of Crime - Proceedings, P 6-26, 1983, C R Bevan, ed. - See NCJ-92065)
Author(s): D Challinger
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Results from victim surveys of Victorian retailers (Australia) provide information on offenders, victim dissatisfaction with the courts, retailers' reluctance to prosecute, and prevention measures.
Abstract: The survey, involving over 5,000 questionnaires, solicited details about respondents' experiences in the preceding year as victims of burglary, vandalism, internal theft, bad-check passing, and shoplifting. These offenses were selected because they were believed to be frequent and underreported in police statistics. Overall, the findings show an occurrence of crime against 2,203 retail outlets in excess of that suggested by police statistics. A followup survey involved personal interviews with 155 retailers. Respondents indicated that most of the shoplifters were young, often operating in groups. Self-report studies also support the finding of considerable shoplifting activity among youth. While shoplifting is engaged in by many youths of both sexes, it is not clear whether such behavior is a transient phase of adolescence or the start of a criminal career. Many of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the courts' handling of their shoplifting cases. The dispositions were viewed as being so lenient as to be a meaningless deterrent, and the retailers bringing charges were often made to feel they were wrong in bringing formal charges against youth. Such experiences have made retailers reluctant to prosecute juveniles detected shoplifting. Most small retailers do not invest in security equipment, because the cost of such equipment would far exceed the losses they believe they suffer. Further, insurance companies offer little reduction in premiums as an incentive for huge investments in security hardware and personnel. Employee theft was indicated to be a significant problem, with one major retailer reporting that 450 employees had been dismissed for stealing the previous year. Tabular data and 19 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Employee theft; Shoplifting
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