Last month the government pledged to "clamp down" on tobacco smuggling, with £917m-worth of extra investment in HMRC, and the promise of more seizures and prosecutions "at all levels" for those engaged in smuggling.

Although the £917m is not new money it was allocated as part of last year's spending review, and not of all of it will be deployed against tobacco it still sounds like a good investment for a government losing at least £2bn a year in evaded tobacco duty. But I remain concerned that the approach is still not as joined up as it could be.

From a retailer's view, tobacco is a vital category, but it remains under attack from all sides. Your customers have the choice between buying from you or the guy down the street who is much cheaper because his tobacco assuming it is tobacco hasn't had duty or VAT paid on it.

Even more worryingly, because the street corner trade is so strong it also puts you in physical danger, as you face increasing risk of burglary in your store, or robbery on your way back from the cash and carry. I've also heard of tobacco reps being robbed or threatened because they are believed to be carrying stock in their vehicles.

But the people who are smuggling, counterfeiting or stealing tobacco are all after the same thing selling it for money. If you really want to 'clamp down' you need to find ways to make all the hoards of smuggled, counterfeit or stolen tobacco worthless, and that means denying the sellers at street level the means to operate.

There's no doubt £917m is a significant amount, and to justify it I'm sure that HMRC will be looking to bring down some seriously organised criminals. But while Mr Big now has a bit more to worry about, Mr Small is still on your street corner selling dodgy fags. We still need much more help from the authorities to disrupt his activities, too.

Trading places

More than 2,600 comments have been posted on the subject of Sunday trading as part of the government's Red Tape Challenge website, overwhelmingly against liberalising the system further. The count is still being analysed, but it looks at least 80% in favour of the status quo, and in some cases cutting back on Sunday hours.

It's not an official referendum, but is a clear indication of the lack of public appetite for extended Sunday hours for large stores, and it's interesting to note that many of the comments opposing change came from those who work for multiple retailers.

The Prime Minister last week called the public's 66% to 33% rejection of the alternative vote system as "a resounding answer that settles the question". So I'm looking forward to hearing him rule out any changes to Sunday trading legislation with a similar degree of finality.