Safe Retail

Retailers in a major inner-city Brisbane shopping centre are bearing the brunt of a recent community housing initiative moving vulnerable people from a city residence to accommodation previously used as student housing.

We understand that these residents are experiencing hardship and everyone is entitled to, and indeed deserves, safe housing. However, centre management, retailers and locals are frustrated that they were not consulted and the necessary community and policing resources to address any arising issues have not been allocated.

There have been reports of finding drugs and drug utensils, human waste and rubbish throughout the centre bathrooms, escalators and outside the precinct. There has been an increase in drug- or alcohol-affected individuals behaving antisocially, becoming aggressive and brazen shoplifting.

Centre management has contacted the police and local members. Police have been highly responsive, sending officers to the centre to speak to retailers, encouraging them to report to Policelink, and sometimes patrolling and performing physical security audits of retail outlets. However, retailers have been disappointed with their ongoing response to reports.

  • A retailer reported one individual trying on $400 worth of clothes and walking out. Police took 1 hour to respond.
  • One retailer has had residents asking if he sold knives and night vision goggles.
  • One retailer is very frustrated with the ongoing crime and aggression. This retailer has made multiple reports in the past, attaching photos and CCTV videos of the crime and police say there is nothing they can do.
  • One retailer can no longer stock Lacoste items as they were consistently targeted for snatch and grabs by youth offenders.
  • Many retailers don’t bother reporting due to the administrative time it takes to make the report and a lack of response, let alone results.
  • Retailers closer to exits and the train station experience higher rates of theft.


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.