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2006-05-20
Washington, DC – Wal-Mart: High Everyday Crime—Always.

For years, Sprawl-Busters has reported on the serious epidemic of crime at Wal-Mart stores. In 1999, "Slam Dunking Wal-Mart" contained a chapter on crime at Wal-Mart, and the retailer's efforts to put a lid on publicity about the crime problem. Earlier this month, WakeUpWalMart.com released a national study on Wal-Mart and crime. The study, entitled "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" analyzed the official 2004 police incident reports (i.e. calls for police service) at 551 Wal-Mart store locations. According to the group's press release, among the key findings of the study, include: "• In 2004, police received 148,331 calls for service for the 551 Wal-Mart stores analyzed, averaging 269 reported police incidents per store. • For just the 551 stores sampled, there were 2,909 reported police calls for "violent or serious crimes," including 4 homicides, 9 rapes or attempts, 23 kidnappings or attempts, 154 sex crimes, 550 robberies or attempts and 1,024 auto thefts. • Based on the number of reported police incidents for the sample, it is estimated police responded to nearly 1 million police incidents at Wal-Mart in 2004 costing taxpayers $77 million annually. • Wal-Mart stores have a significantly higher number of reported police incidents than nearby Target stores. For the sample, the average rate of reported police incidents at Wal-Mart stores was 400% higher than the average rate of incidents at nearby Target stores. The full study "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" and the official police incident reports are available for download and review at www.WalMartCrimeReport.com. "The high number of reported police incidents at Wal-Mart stores is shocking and outrageous. Wal-Mart's customers and the community have a right to know whether or not their Wal-Mart is safe. Wal-Mart should immediately fund an independent study to explore the issue of crime at Wal-Mart stores nationwide and immediately take the necessary steps, including putting in roving security patrols and staffing security cameras, to ensure the safety of its customers at every Wal-Mart store," said Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com. "Public safety and crime are serious issues. Despite internal warnings about crime at some of Wal-Mart's stores, it is clear Wal-Mart still has a high number of reported police incidents at too many stores. As our nation's largest retailer, Americans deserve to know the truth about whether or not Wal-Mart is safe," added Blank. As a service to the general public, WakeUpWalMart.com also launched a new website, WalMartCrimeReport.com. WalMartCrimeReport.com will collect and disseminate Wal-Mart crime data to the general public. The website allows customers and the general public to download copies of the official police incident reports sent to us by local police departments. The WalMartCrimeReport.com website will also provide a variety of documents that chronicle statements by Wal-Mart officials on public safety, including internal Wal-Mart memos on public safety issues."

What you can do: For earlier stories on crime at big box stores, each Newsflash by "crime."










 
 
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