The industry and employer organization Svensk Handel repeatedly asks its members, the shop owners, how they view security. And the direction is clear, and has been for several years.
Shop owners flee certain areas and do not establish themselves where it is perceived as increasingly insecure when the criminal gangs spread, according to Per Geijer. – This is very serious. It creeps in, it wears down employees and entrepreneurs, he says. There is a feeling that the state has lost control. Politicians, regardless of the color of government, have not taken this seriously, according to Geijer. – It is a common failure.
The latest Safety Barometer from the second quarter of this year shows the most disappointing result since the measurements began in 2018. The corona pandemic has come as an extra blow on top of everything else, according to Per Geijer.
The results show that slightly more than 50% of shop owners has been exposed to crime in recent time. 17 percent answer that they have been exposed to threats or violence in connection with theft or shoplifting. In the previous quarter, that figure was eight percent. – We have seen a very sharp increase in the last quarter, says Geijer.
Many shop owners do what they can to protect themselves and their merchandise. They change the product range or change the availability of the more theft-prone goods. They joins forces with local actors and invests significantly more in security equipment such as surveillance and security guards.
Swedish Trade has a wish list for politicians: Everyday crimes such as shoplifting must be taken more seriously. Faster penalties for shoplifting. More visible police on streets and squares. Opportunity to introduce a ban on access to the store.