The 2022 Australia and New Zealand Retail Crime Study is a game-changer for loss prevention specialists and the retail community. The study offers a contemporary academic and statistical analysis of current crime trends. The National Retail Association is proud to be working with subject matter expert Professor Michael Townsley, from Griffith Criminology Institute, who co-produced the study for the Profit Protection Future Forum.  

Below are highlights from the Study to provide valuable industry-specific insights for retailers. 


Five Dimensions to Situational Crime Prevention: 

  1. Increase the perceived risk. 
    • The probability of apprehension or detection is critical in evaluating a criminal opportunity.  
    • e.g., cameras on self-checkout screens 
  2. Increase the perceived effort. 
    • Measures that increase the amount of time or energy an offender must invest to commit a crime can be an effective deterrent.
    • e.g., spider wraps and loop alarms 
  3. Reduce the reward. 
    • If the potential benefits of the crime can be reduced, the criminal opportunity becomes far less attractive. 
    • e.g., hard tags and ink tags. 
  4. Remove the excuse. 
    • Offenders often justify committing a crime (“they are a huge company; they won’t miss a few t-shirts”). Pre-empting these self-justifications can reduce the likelihood of offences occurring. 
    • e.g., clear signage. 
  5. Reduce provocations. 
    • Frustration with a process can escalate to violence or aggression. 
    • e.g., refund policies written in plain language and lengths of queues.

Product-level Protection Measures: 

Most used methods: 

  • Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) labels (70%) 
  • Spider wraps and security keepers (50%) 
  • Software analytics for internal theft (45%) 
  • RFID technology (mentioned by 25%) 


Store-level Protection Measures: 

  • Most used methods: 
  • Closed-circuit television (CCTV) (95%) 
  • Alarm monitoring (90%) 
  • Other widely adopted solutions; security guards and point of sale (POS) exception-based reporting (EBR).  
  • Advanced technological solutions such as robotics, drones and RFID have low adoption rates. However, this may increase as technology develops and becomes more affordable.  

To read the full report, click here 

Keep up to date with the latest crime trends, analysis, and academic research from Michael Townsley on LinkedIn, click here. 

By Professor Michael Townsley
Griffith Criminology Institute, for the Profit Protection Future Forum.