Media Releases

Retail crime crackdown welcome but more needed

27 June 2024

Planned changes to the criminal justice system are welcome but don’t go far enough, Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young says.

“We are pleased to see the announcements by Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith regarding tougher sentencing, including a response to serious retail crime,” Ms Young says.

Minister Goldsmith signaled the introduction of a new aggravating factor to address offences against sole charge workers and those whose home and business are interconnected. 

“This doesn’t go far enough. Almost every retail worker has been affected by crime and aggression, whether they are sole charge or not. On a daily basis, retailers of all sizes are dealing with threatening, violent or simply unpleasant customers, who are trying to steal or damage their property,” Ms Young says.

“Our members are telling us that crime is traumatic for them and their staff, whether they are working in a small store alongside one or two others, or in large supermarkets.”

Retail crime is a significant issue in New Zealand, impacting more than 92% of retailers. Retail NZ’s Crime Report 2023 found the cost of retail crime to its members was well over $2.6 billion. 

“Ultimately, retail crime results in higher costs and more security barriers for all customers and consumers,” Ms Young says.

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