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8 November 2012
One week before people across England and Wales have the opportunity to go to the polls to elect Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), retailers are urging successful candidates to work with them to reduce the soaring cost of retail crime.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is asking PCCs (who take office from 22 November) to put tackling business crime and violence against retail employees high on the agenda when setting police force strategic plans. That is a key part of achieving stronger, safer communities.
The BRC's latest Crime Survey found that the overall cost of retail crime soared by 31 per cent to £1.4 billion in 2011, and more than 35,000 retail workers suffered physical attacks, verbal abuse and anti-social behaviour during the course of the year. Retailers are also investing more and more of their own money in crime prevention
British Retail Consortium Director General, Stephen Robertson, said: “The retail industry has a major role to play at the heart of communities, providing vital goods and services, employment opportunities and a focus for local people. Retailers are also investing significantly in crime prevention, both in-store and within the wider community.
“It's essential that the new PCCs recognise when deciding local priorities that retail crime doesn't only affect shops and staff; it impacts directly on communities, damages our struggling high streets and encourages wider criminal activity. Cutting retail crime is an essential part of improving perceptions of a local area and ensuring people feel safe in their neighbourhoods.
“Sadly, businesses don't get a vote next week, but the new PCCs must make sure they listen to their concerns. Retailers are ready and willing to work with them to ensure beating retail crime is given the priority it deserves.”
The BRC has produced guidance for PCCs on the importance of working with retailers. It can be downloaded from: http://www.brc.org.uk/downloads/PCC_Guidance.pdf