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The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) says it is pleased to see police and crime commissioners (PCCS) across England and Wales are responding to its calls for more action to protect retailers and the public.

Fed officials and members have been meeting with their respective PCCs in recent months to impress upon them the urgent need to tackle attacks and shoplifting, which have soared to epidemic proportions.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has published its Tackling Business & Retail Crime In Focus report, which includes a range of case studies that demonstrate the many collaborative and evidence-based approaches being implemented by PCCs.

The APCC’s national business and retail crime lead and PCC for Sussex Katy Bourne said: “With current levels of retail crime on high streets rising and retail staff facing the consequences of shoplifters’ brazen behaviour, this new ‘In Focus’ report demonstrates how Police and Crime Commissioners are approaching the issue and holding their forces to account for their work to respond to and investigate retail crime, as set out within the government’s Retail Crime Action Plan.

“The British Retail Consortium’s recent crime survey showed a 50 per cent increase in the levels of retail violence and abuse – to 1,300 incidents a day – with the cost of theft to retailers rising to £1.8 billion (from £953 million the previous year). It is now, more than ever, that policing needs to work effectively with businesses to tackle this deluge of shop thefts, assaults, and criminality.

“Nationally, all police forces have now signed up to the Retail Crime Action Plan, which clearly sets out how officers should response to shoplifting. PCCs up and down the country can now utilise the Action Plan to hold our forces to account for how they respond and investigate retail crime.”

The Fed’s National President Muntazir Dipoti said: “We have held numerous meetings with PCCs all over England and Wales to highlight the number of retail crime incidents our members experience day in, day out.

“It is pleasing to discover that the APCC is taking this matter seriously and that police forces are now being held to account in an effort to clamp down on offenders.”

The Fed recently launched its Safe, Secure, Supported campaign calling for government grants of up to £1,500 to help smaller retailers improve their security measures, including effective CCTV systems.

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