A look back at 112 of the most violent and abusive incidents UK retailers and security teams experience that made headline news in 2021

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By Paul Lynch 18 January 2022

In the United Kingdom an average of 455 retail staff are assaulted or subjected to abuse every single day, whilst 200 incidents of theft are reported and recorded every hour. 

Violence towards staff, theft from retail outlets and other businesses are becoming more prominent across the UK, making the places we live, shop and work feel unsafe.

Retail crime is costing retailers increasing amounts of money every year, amounting to a total of £2.2 billion in the UK alone. This amount includes money directly lost through crime along with what retailers are spending on loss prevention in the last year, much of this cost is recovered by increasing the price of the goods we buy.

Accrington McDonald's staff abuse and Tesco store smashed by gang of 20 youths

Tesco and McDonald's staff in Accrington have been abused by a gang of youths who have left a trail of destruction in their wake

Primark pervert caught taking pictures up woman's skirt in busy shop

A perverted man who snapped up a young woman’s skirt was caught by fellow shoppers who stopped him leaving the store

Hunt launched for thugs who threatened shop staff with blades during terrifying robbery

The force has released descriptions of the men and urged anyone who could help detectives identify them to come forward

Armed robbers steal £100,000 cash in terrifying shop raid

The pair burst into an off-licence on Great Station Road in Stretford where they threatened staff before grabbing bundles of cash that were being delivered to an ATM

Thieving thug breaks shop worker's jaw in two places

A shoplifter punched a shop worker in the face twice after he dared to challenge the thug for trying to pinch a phone charger from the shelves of his store

Colne man entered Pets at Home store before causing damage and thieving

The offence came two weeks after Eden, 41, was banned from entering shops in Blackburn town centre following a spate of shoplifting offences

Knifeman threatens staff at Cheshire store before raiding cash from till

The robber targeted the Select Convenience Store on Brook Street at about 6pm on Monday (November 29) while a second man stood in the doorway

Man jailed after years of terrorising town center shops

The CBO was granted after police officers applied to the courts to raise concerns about his prolific offending and violence towards retail staff in the town

Man pushed Matalan worker to floor as he stole £100 of towels

The 25-year-old man pushed a staff member out of the way as he ran out of the shop, causing her to fall and bang her head

Thug stealing booze attacks Co-op worker with wine bottle

The thief, along with two others, had stolen wine from the Co-op store in Birmingham Road, Wylde Green in Sutton Coldfield at around 7.45am on Friday, November 12

Shopkeeper injured as teens turn violent trying to steal e-cigarettes

A gang of youths turned violent when they were caught stealing e-cigarettes from a village shop

Houghton Regis man threatened Tesco staff with wrench in 'frightening' robbery

Bedfordshire man has been handed a prison sentence