The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for a greater focus on business crime and shop theft in its response to the Labour party’s consultation on the future of crime and policing policy.

It wants police to use a range of sanctions to deal with shop theft offences and for out-of-court disposals to only be issued for first time offences.

Business crime cost convenience retailers an estimated £122m in 2015, the ACS said.

Taking into account the amount that retailers invest in crime prevention measures, the total cost of crime per store was £3,750. This is equivalent to a three pence crime tax on every customer transaction.

The most prevalent crime against convenience store retailers continues to be shop theft, costing the sector an estimated £35m in the last year.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “Business crime is one of the biggest challenges faced by convenience retailers, it takes both an economic and human toll on convenience store retailers and their staff and must not be ignored. We continue to urge all parties to prioritise tackling business crime.”

Submissions to the consultation will be considered by the Policy Commission in advance of the National Policy Forum meeting in July.