Friday, September 22, 2017

Tobacco Retail Alliance urges MPs to protect independent retailers from crime

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The Tobacco Retailer’s Alliance (TRA) has called on the government to do more to fight against the sale of illegal tobacco in independent retailers.

In its manifesto revealed today, the TRA’s plan dubbed “Fair Deal for Small Shops 2017” lays out key areas needed to protect independent retailers from “retail crime”.

These include a review of the sentencing guidelines for those guilty of trade offences and the creation of a “hotline” to report the sale of illegal products.

It also calls on the government to give shop workers the same legal protection as emergency workers and to create a fund helping retailers in high-risk areas to buy crime prevention equipment.

READ MORE: 39 per cent of retailers sell e-cigarettes to minors

In light of Brexit, the manifesto also calls on the government to reverse EU imposed measures, such as the ban of small pack sizes of cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

“This report shows how important tobacco continues to be as a product category for small and independent retailers,” TRA national spokesperson Suleman Khonat said.

“We want the government to listen to retailers in the independent sector. TRA members want to speak directly to MPs in order to help us address our mutual challenges together.

“Illegal tobacco, retail crime and the burden of legislation on the small retailer are areas where we can make real progress if we take a consensual approach. This new report from the TRA marks the beginning of this new way forward.”

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