The National Retail Association has welcomed esteemed professor at the Griffith Criminology Institute, Professor Michael Townsley, as a Retail Crime Consultant.

The National Retail Association continues to expand its offerings in the retail crime sphere with this appointment, bringing issues of youth crime, aggression, underreporting, and emerging crime trends to the forefront with the support of industry experts.

Since 2018, the National Retail Association has hosted state-based Retail Crime Committees in every jurisdiction, co-chaired by key senior state police representatives. The Committees enable collaboration between police and industry to identify risks, share intelligence, and develop strategies to respond to a wide range of threats.

Policy Director, David Stout said working collaboratively with retailers, police, unions, and industry experts is crucial to ensure effective action in addressing the growing threats of crime and aggression that retail is facing.

“Retailers are at the coalface of responding to social issues and are struggling to maintain viability in the face of growing theft, criminal activity and disruption, compounded by economic challenges.”

“We’re in a Catch-22 situation. Due to low confidence, only 10% of offences are reported to police, but police then do not have access to quality actionable intelligence to apprehend offenders. A new evidenced-backed strategy is needed to address retail crime and we are pleased to welcome Professor Michael Townsley onboard as a Retail Crime Consultant.”

Professor Townsley is an experienced researcher specialising in the analysis and dissection of the complexities of retail crime using advanced data science techniques, which enable him to design opportunities for future crimes. He has worked in the UK and Australia focusing on a range of crimes, including burglary, vehicle crime, alcohol-related violence, clandestine drug labs, and card-not-present fraud.

Professor Townsley is currently Director and Academic Lead of the Profit Protection Future Forum, the premier organisation for Loss Prevention professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Through collaborative efforts, the Forum drives innovation, knowledge sharing, and best practices that safeguard businesses from financial loss. He led the 2022 ANZ Retail Crime Study, the largest shrinkage study focusing on the ANZ region, published in March this year.

“Given my passion for research, expertise in crime analysis, and commitment to evidence-based practice, I am looking forward to making a substantial contribution to the battle against retail crime,” said Professor Townsley.

The National Retail Association is pleased to welcome Professor Townsley and to expand our capacity to provide the industry with unparalleled advice, guidance materials, and support in addressing retail crime.

The National Retail Association represents more than 60,000 stores across Australia.  It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information, contact the National Retail Association’s media unit on 0467 792 013.