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Robbery Against Service Stations and Pharmacies: Recent Trends

NCJ Number
Natalie Taylor
Date Published
April 2002
6 pages
This study examined the vulnerability to robbery of service stations and pharmacies in Australia.
Factors that make service stations vulnerable to robbery include being open for long hours, keeping cash on the premises, and having minimal staffing at night. Pharmacies may be attractive robbery targets because they have drugs that robbers wish to obtain without prescription and without cost. This study obtained data on the prevalence of robbery in these two retail sectors from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and from a major national survey of crime against small businesses conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology. The data show that since 1993, the proportion of all robberies of service stations has increased substantially, while the proportion of all robberies of pharmacies has remained stable. Of the service stations and pharmacies surveyed in the Small Business Crime Survey, 8 percent of service stations and 11 percent of pharmacies reported at least one robbery in the previous 12 months. Further, 80 percent of the robberies that occurred at service stations had only one employee on duty; a majority of pharmacy robberies (52 percent) occurred while two or more employees were present. Repeat victimization was found to be a key factor in understanding robbery in these two sectors; 5 percent of all pharmacies and service stations in the sample accounted for 72 percent of all reported robberies. Identifying the characteristics of those service stations and pharmacies that are repeatedly victimized by robberies can assist in the development of security strategies. There should also be additional research that focuses on why service stations have a higher risk for robbery than other businesses. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 21 references


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