Theft cost convenience stores £44m and has risen by 4% in the last year, according to a new report by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The Crime Report 2014 sets out the impact of crime on the convenience sector and includes guidance to help retailers manage the cost of crime against their stores.

It features a detailed account of the costs, both human and monetary, of crime including shop theft, burglary, robbery and violence. Key findings from the report are:

• Retailers made £14m of investment in crime prevention measures last year;

• Shop theft alone cost an estimated £44m and police data has found a 4% increase in shop theft instances in the last year;

• The average burglary will cost a retailer £2,586;

• More than half of retailers were victims of verbal or physical abuse in the last year.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Tackling crime in store is one of the biggest challenges faced by convenience retailers. The Crime Report 2014 gives retailers simple to follow, targeted guidance which enables them to reduce criminal activity and build relationships with local enforcement agencies.”

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker said: “Retail crime is an important issue which the government takes seriously. We want the response to be consistent, which is why all police forces in England and Wales have adopted a national business crime definition which will improve our understanding of the nature and extent of offences.

“Shopkeepers have a right to feel safe in their stores and I am pleased to see there was a decrease in the number of violent attacks reported in the ACS survey. It is important the government provides leadership to drive down retail crime which is why I co-chair the National Retail Crime Steering Group with the British Retail Consortium. The group identifies and shares best practice on what works to cut retail crime and protect those who work in the sector.”