A new website allowing retailers to demonstrate the part they play in crime prevention is to be launched tomorrow.
The website, set up by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), aims to emphasise the role that local police forces play in supporting retailers.
TacklingRetailCrimeTogether.co.uk will use case studies to show how retailers are working to prevent crime, reduce re-offending and support local policing.
A recent survey by the body found that crime costs the retail sector £1.1 billion a year, with retailers now spending £210 million annually on protection of staff, stock and premises, a ten per cent increase on last year.
Stephen Robertson, Director General of the BRC, pointed out that the summer’s riots highlighted the need to resolve the problem of crime.
“The riots in August rightly put a spotlight on the issue of retail crime,” he said.
“The crimes of theft and vandalism committed against shops damaged local communities by wrecking valuable services and putting people’s jobs in danger.
“Retail found itself in the frontline of the attacks when, ironically, it’s actually in the frontline of the solution.
“The message this new website sends out to the Police and Crime Commissioners of the future is – we expect you to support us in that.”
The BRC is working with other groups in order to implement a number of changes nationwide, aiming to reduce the impact of crime on both large and smaller independent retailers.
Lord Henley, Home Office Minister for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction, announced that, from November next year, directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners will be in place in communities to address local policing concerns.
Shopping locally has become a focal point in news this week, as data analysts Springboard revealed that footfall to UK provincial towns was up year-on-year in September, while supermarket Asda announced the rolling out of its community programme.
Association of Convenience Stores CEO, James Lowman, said that the new website would positively publicise the hard work that retailers do to prevent crime.
“Tackling Retail Crime Together is a great resource for retailers to share the many positive projects that they participate in to stop retail crime,” he commented.
“The clear message from existing case studies is that retail crime is best tackled in partnership with communities, police and local authority agencies.
“I hope this site continues to develop and can be used as a learning resource for retailers across the country.”