CSNA reveals stark security survey findings in new report

Vincent Jennings, CEO of the CSNA

58% of those surveyed are subjected to verbal abuse on a weekly basis

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17 November 2020 | 0

The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) has released its 2020 National Security Report which makes for grim reading. The independent retail association represents over 1,500 members, all convenience store owners, forecourt operators and newsagents.

Almost five hundred retailers took part in the survey, 81% of which were convenience store owners. The national survey was conducted in August of this year.

Aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour, verbal abuse, shoplifting, An Garda Síochána, and the justice system were some of the issues covered in the report, which found 88% of retailers believe legislation and its enforcement in the sector is insufficient.

Indeed, 80% of the retailers surveyed reported that they or a member of their staff had experienced an incident involving aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour within the previous three months. It is notable, 45% of those suffered this injustice within a month of the survey being conducted. Furthermore, 58% of those surveyed or their staff are subject to verbal abuse on a weekly basis, with as many as 23% enduring it on a daily basis in their stores.

Retailers surveyed stated that triggers for violence include confronting shoplifters, refusing to serve and enforcing age restrictions. While 90% of those surveyed suggested that those perpetrating unlawful acts are repeat offenders. The most common shoplifted items included alcohol, confectionery, toiletries and meat.

What’s more, 81% of retailers surveyed had invested in security measures in their store within the past 12 months with CCTV, staff training, cash handling and storage and external security proving the most necessary areas of investment.

“This isn’t just about our members,” said Vincent Jennings, CEO of CSNA, “it also represents the many thousands of staff that work in our convenience stores, forecourts and newsagents nationwide. We are at the coalface of this persistent risk and intolerable behaviour, many on a daily basis. It is simply not acceptable, not for our members and certainly not for their valued employees.”

Jennings continued: “This is the second national report of its kind released by CSNA and the findings are for the most part consistent with what we found previously. It is without question, the pandemic has people on edge and acting irrationally in some instances, however the issues outlined in this report are not specifically Covid-19 related and are unfortunately with us on a daily basis.”

CSNA has called on the government, An Garda Síochána and the judiciary to act decisively as retailers demand zero tolerance in their fight against crime in their sector.

The retail industry is worth over €7 billion to the exchequer, employing almost 285,000 people, over 72% of whom are outside of the Dublin area providing key services all over the country.

CSNA has also called on members of the public to be kinder and to treat those working in retail with the respect they truly deserve. It has asked the public to show their support for their local store by sharing this report online with the hashtag #EnoughIsEnough.

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