Robbery against service stations and pharmacies: recent trends


Drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and from the Australian Institute of Criminology's Small Business Crime Survey, this paper provides an overview of recent trends in robbery and a comparison of risks between service stations, pharmacies and other types of target in Australia. The data show that since 1993, the proportion of all robberies occurring at service stations has risen substantially, while the proportion of all robberies occurring at pharmacies has remained stable. Of the service stations and pharmacies surveyed, eight per cent of service stations and 11% of pharmacies reported at least one incident of robbery in the previous 12 months, while five per cent of all pharmacies and service stations in the sample accounted for almost three quarters of all reported robbery incidents. The paper also discusses the timing of robberies, which is related to business operating hours, and the characteristics associated with robbery victims. In 80% of cases of robbery of service stations, only one staff member was on duty, while 52% of robberies of pharmacies occurred with two staff members working. Research into this kind of business victimisation is essential for developing programs and practices to reduce robbery.