Conservatives pledge to tackle shop crime

The Association of Convenience Stores has outlined the problem of retail crime in a presentation to the Conservative Retail Crime Commission.

The trade body presented chairman Philip Dunne MP with its submission at the Commission's Crime Prevention Forum.

Dunne said: “I am surprised at the lack of concern about retail crime, not just among Government, but among the public as well.

"The evidence we have received has made it clear that shop crime is committed overwhelmingly to support drug use. Our Commission is looking to make recommendations for policies to reduce this blight within our communities.

"The Conservatives are already committed to increase the number of drug rehabilitation places dramatically, which will help cut shop crime.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Policy on retail crime needs to reflect the importance of local shops.

"Too often retail crime is wrongly dismissed as a victimless crime, when it has a significant impact not only on the business and its owners, but on the wider community as well.

“We welcome the fact that Philip Dunne has continued to work with ACS to ensure that Conservative retail crime policy reflects the input of retailers.”

ACS’ submission focuses on policy surrounding shop theft sanctions, sanctions for drive-off offences and the effective use of anti-social behaviour powers.

The Commission will continue to gather evidence from retailers until the end of February. The findings are expected to be published in April.