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Fed chief operating officer Graham Stafford is one of over 100 retail leaders to have signed a letter to police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

The letter calls on PCCs to make retail crime a priority amid rising levels of violence, abuse, and anti-social behaviour in shops and stores and the emotional impact it can have on store owners and their employees.

The rise in retail crime, the letter notes, “is partly linked to tackling shoplifting [which] pushes up the cost of operating and results in higher prices for everyone.”

During the pandemic, retail workers were subjected to a huge rise in violence and abuse, with incidents almost tripling from 455 per day in 2019/20 to 1,300 in 2020/21, the BRC survey reports.

The letter calls on Police and Crime Commissioners to:

  1. Commit to making retail crime a priority in their local policing plan.
  2. Work with local businesses to investigate ways to make reporting simpler, to help give the police an accurate picture of the problem.
  3. Push their local force to investigate all reports of violence and abuse against retail workers, ensuring the matter is treated with the seriousness it deserves.
  4. Monitor how the new sentencing guidelines are used and the impact on violence and abuse against retail workers.

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