Greater protection for shopkeepers and an increase in neighbourhood policing are needed in Peterborough, says Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the city. “We have seen a huge rise in incidents of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour affecting businesses and retailers over the last year,” he said.
“It is welcome news that the government is finally listening to retailers, but we need to see action trickle down to stores here in Peterborough. It has taken a lot of hard work by the Co-op, Usdaw union and others to get this far.
“We now need to see further steps taken, including protection for shopworkers and an increase in neighbourhood policing.”
He said major retailers and the government have this week announced a new Retail Crime Action Plan to support shops and shopworkers facing abuse and an increase in shoplifting.
Mr Pakes said his recent tour of Co-op stores in the city was aimed at highlighting the impact on local retail workers.
He said: “Central Co-op has seen violent crime, where store workers have been assaulted, rise 57 per cent year on year, with verbal abuse and threats up 43 per cent.
“The police’s own data shows they did not attend in 73 per cent of incidents reported to them by British Retail Consortium members.”
Mr Pakes added: “This week’s Retail Crime Action Plan includes a police commitment to prioritise urgently attending the scene of shoplifting instances involving violence against a shop worker, where security guards have detained an offender or where attendance is needed to secure evidence.
“Police have also reaffirmed their pledge to follow up on any evidence that could reasonably lead to catching a perpetrator.”
Paul Dennis, chief operations officer, Central Co-op, said: “Ensuring our colleagues return home safely each day is our highest priority, and we continue to invest in measures to protect them, however, we also need the police to prioritise these offences and improve their response to incidents.
“The police’s own data shows they did not attend in 73% of incidents reported to them by British Retail Consortium members. We want to work together with the police and local leadership with a clear purpose as this is a key area for improvement.
“We’re not talking about victimless crimes here, we see the lasting impact of these terrible incidents on our colleagues, members and customers so we’re committed to working with the Government and local law enforcement to bring about meaningful change.”
Can you help us?
While you’re here, we are asking, for the first time, for readers to support us financially by taking out a modest subscription.
£2, or £3 or even £5 will help us achieve our goals. It will mean the second year of CambsNews will be livelier, healthier, and much better placed to cover the important issues affecting our everyday lives.
Your subscription simply means we can provide and expand our news FREE to all readers (Read More)Will you help us? Simply click the link below to make a donation.