Organised Crime and Gangs are operating in Australia with new methods of crime being witnessed every week.

Retailers face the constant process of responding to the changing landscape of shoplifting, especially when it is conducted by organised groups or gangs that also pose a significant threat to team and customer safety. Individuals are often assumed to be working alone when shoplifting however, commonly they are not working alone but with others who create distractions whilst goods are stolen, in order to meet the requirements of the crime ring leader.

This is clearly the case for items like baby formula and mobile phones.

Ongoing incidents of baby formula theft or mass purchasing has been widely reported with many swarming stores to deplete their stock under direction, with the stock returned to a centralised location for later further shipping and distribution.

A new term ‘Steaming’ has been used to describe gangs who enter telecommunications stores with the intent simply to overpower and intimidate staff, push customers out of their way and remove all mobile phones on display before running from the premises. This trend itself is concerning with both team members and customers put in danger during the crime.

Retailers must adapt to the continuing changes in the crime environment and sector.


Australian Institute of Criminology – Preventing Retail Crime

The New Daily – News Article regarding Retail Theft

Contact our team

Retailers have a wide range of pressures and obligations in terms of providing best practice information and resources to keep their teams safe and prepared. The National Retail Association offers training and assistance in preparing teams for serious incidents or emergency events such as managing an active armed offender, dealing with aggressive behaviour or reporting suspicious activity. Contact us for more information.

David Stout

David Stout

Director Policy National Retail Association
David is a highly-respected senior executive across a wide range of retail sectors including corporate affairs, operations, customer insights, finance, procurement, risk and regulation, stakeholder engagement, community and supply chain.  He is favourably regarded as a bipartisan and ethical operative in best practice across retail and corporate industry, regional and urban councils, local and state governments, and is currently involved in multiple advisory groups / committees.