Safe Retail | NRA

The following trends in retail crime have been witnessed by Brisbane retailers over the past few weeks, as relayed across the National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network.

Rise in crime on George St and Adelaide St

Retailers have reported an increase in aggression, loitering and theft by people who appear to be homeless on George Street and Adelaide Street.

  • Reports of individuals asking people for money, if they refuse they cough on them and threaten to abuse them.
  • Reports of individuals approaching people using ATMs on George St and stealing their money once it dispenses.
  • A retailer reported witnessing groups of people drinking straight from liquor bottles and smoking in no smoking zones on Adelaide Street.
  • A newsagent reported a man entering the store drug- or alcohol-affected and becoming verbally abusive towards staff because he wasn’t winning scratchies.
  • A George St liquor store retailer is refusing entry to any patrons unless they can show ID at the window.
  • A convenience store facing an increase in theft and antisocial behaviour only allows people in the store if they can demonstrate they have money and staff will retrieve items for them.


Retailers have reported an increase in brazen theft occurring.

  • A pharmacy reported having a high rate of attempted theft. Staff are vigilant and confront potential shoplifters. Targeted items include fragrances, skincare products and makeup. Staff recently caught a female shoplifting and the woman threw the items at the staff member.
  • An art supplies store reported individuals are becoming more brazen moving away from paint brushes or pencils to big ticket items with high resale value such as full paint and paintbrush sets and colouring kits.

Retail staff feeling unsafe

Retailers have reported a greater congregation of homeless and vagrant youths and an increase in individuals loitering in places they previously weren’t.

  • A young female staff member reported a recent incident where she caught a male shoplifter putting clothes down his pants. The staff member asked him to remove the clothing and he instead exposed himself. The staff member was working alone at the time in a quiet shopping centre in Fortitude Valley. The staff member had to ask the man profusely to leave.
  • Many staff reported feeling security with the presence of office workers in the CBD and now feel unsafe going to and from work.
  • Retailers are frustrated seeing police driving up and down the street but not walking.

The National Retail Association urges retailers to report all instances of crime to Policelink so that law enforcement can get a more accurate reflection of the scope of the issue and deploy relevant resources in the future. To find the relevant state or territory online crime reporting platform, please click here.




About the SafeCity Network

The National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network brings together retailers, government and law enforcement to better inform and equip retailers to reduce retail crime.

On 1 March 2018, the NRA launched the SafeCity Network as a trial in Brisbane aimed at increasing collaboration and insight between retailers to reduce retail crime. By reducing crime over the long term, the program aims to attract more shoppers and visitors, and ultimately create a more vibrant, safer retail precincts.

Participants in the SafeCity Network gain access to regular crime alerts and bulletins based on real-world intelligence shared by other retailers.