I have pledged to continue his campaign to help retailers and shopworkers in their daily struggle against retail crime and violence following figures from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) showing the cost of retail crime to Delyn.
ACS figures show that local shops in Delyn are estimated to have lost £160,211 to shop thieves last year.
But this is about more than lost revenue; shop theft is the number one trigger for violence against shopworkers. ACS estimate that there were almost 10,000 incidents of violence against people working in local shops, 41% of these resulted in the injury of staff. 83% of staff in convenience stores also reported they have experienced verbal abuse at work.
The estimated cost to the convenience sector was £246million last year, equivalent to a 7p crime tax on every transaction.
I have been working closely with Usdaw – the shopworkers trade union – the Co-Operative Group, ACS, the British Retail Consortium and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents to hold the UK Government to account for its failed policies to tackle crime in Wales and England. Before Easter he was able to secure a Westminster Hall debate on retail crime – the full transcript of the debate can be accessed here – in which he called for the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to support our police forces with greater resources and introduce a new aggravated offence of violence against shopworkers .
Successes from my campaign against retail crime and violence against shopworkers includes the Home Office launching a public consultation on the subject. Anyone can take part in this consultation and put forward their thoughts on what the challenges they are facing. You can access the consultation here.
Retail crime is costing shoppers the equivalent of 7p at the tills. 280 shopworkers are being assaulted every day and crime in general continues to rise. All of this is happening under the UK Government’s watch as they continue to cut policing budgets and continue to ignore calls from local authorities to invest in crime prevention.
The figures released by the Association of Convenience Stores show that shops in Delyn are losing £160,211 to thieves last year. This is money that these shops can ill afford and results in customers paying more at the tills and fewer jobs in retail as cost pressures increase. The UK Government need to act now by investing into policing and replacing the 21,000 officers lost since I was last Police Minister.
My recent Westminster Hall debate on retail crime ensured that I could put these points to the Minister. We are expecting the public consultation to be responded to by the UK Government in Autumn of this year. I will be watching closely to see if they match their rhetoric with action.