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ShopCare, Health & Safety, Health Safety Wellbeing, Safety leadership, Industry Group, Sector Group, Workplace safety, Healthy workplace, Retail, Retailers, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Transport, Transportation, ACC

There is a concerning rise in violent and aggressive behaviour in the retail environment,

and many workers are concerned.


ShopCare is working with a number of parties to understand the triggers and causes of violent and aggressive behaviour in the retail workplace, and how to enable sharing of the most effective solutions. 

  • More than 1 in 10 stores in NZ will experience an assault, robbery, or burglary each month

  • There has been an 11% increase in “serious behaviours” (aggressive or physically abusive behaviour or brandishing a weapon) in the year to May 2021.

  • For the grocery sector, there was a 19% increase.


An internal survey by a major New Zealand retailer revealed that 8 out of 10 of its stores reported incidences of verbal assault in 2020. Approximately 40% of stores reported physical assaults, 7% involving a weapon.

We will share information with you, on our partners, the activities in this workstream and the work we are doing together to help workers de escalate and manage these difficult and sometimes dangerous situations.

Violence in the workplace is commonly defined as:

An incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work, which can include verbal abuse, threats of harm, or physical attacks.

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA), states that a A ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’, (PCBU) has the ‘primary duty of care’ for people’s health and safety at work. It must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of:
– its workers
– any other workers it influences or directs. 

WorkSafe advises, that so far as is reasonably practicable, you must ensure the health and safety of workers, and ensure that others are not put at risk from your work. Violence or threats of violence at the workplace can come from clients, co-workers or even a worker’s family members or acquaintances.

You can follow the PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT approach to work out whether violence is a risk to your workers or others, and if so, how you could prevent or deal with it.

If you are self-employed then you must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, your own health and safety as well as the
health and safety of others who could be put at risk by the work you do.

NZ Police Website has a number of helpful ideas and useful tools to help you protect your business

  • If possible, install physical barriers to deter ram raids such as bollards and metal window screens

  • Keep your front window clear of posters etc

  • Position the cash register near the entry and greet every customer when they walk in

  • Position shelving in one direction so you have a clear view down each aisle

  • Use large mirrors to see every part of your store

  • Display smaller merchandise closer to the cash register counter, not at the back of the shop.

Complete this quick Commercial Crime Prevention Checklist to receive crime prevention tips that specifically relate to you and your property – it should only take a couple of minutes and could save you a lot of time and money.

Watch Police officers demonstrate some easy crime prevention techniques in English or Mandarin Chinese, on the GETBA website

Virtual Reality conflict management training program

ShopCare has recently partnered with SkillsVR to facilitate the development and testing of a new Virtual Reality conflict management training program to upskill and enable workers to be more confident and better able to manage difficult and potentially dangerous situations. The program was tested by several major retailers and received great feedback from the participants.

If you want to know more about this module and Virtual Reality Training, contact SkillsVR

Personal Safety & Security, looking beyond the burly security guard 

Jem will help you think about security a bit differently within retail, supply chain and loss prevention -  looking beyond the big, burly security guard.  Making security a part of your safety plan including pandemic planning plus adding insights to key trends in security.


  • Security - protecting people, assets and brands​

  • Security - it’ role in reducing shrinkage

  • Security - as part of your H&S Plan

    • At the place of work

    • Remote – lone workers


New Zealand Manufacturers and Suppliers of Bollard Products

ShopCare has been talking to a number of local NZ based manufacturers and suppliers of equipment and physical barriers to assist your company to help reduce the impact of the current epidemic of violent attacks on NZ businesses.

We have also included information on the essential research and pre work that needs to be completed before purchase and installation. 

Crowded Places Strategy, Personal Safety & Security 

This was a very enlightening session on Crowded Places Strategy. Craig Webb talked us through situational awareness and dealing with conflict and the growing tide of aggressive customer situations. Craig also provided a link to the Crowded Places Tool, which is highly  recommended.

The session also included  Personal Safety & Security with Paul Walsh, giving insight into the ever increasing number of aggressive customer situations being experienced in the retail sector and how they can be mitigated.

You can watch the video on the ShopCare YouTube Channel  

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