Retailers in Merseyside have been given additional support from police to protect their businesses from retail crime in the run-up to Christmas.

Merseyside police launched a new initiative on November 10, targeting a reduction in retail crime throughout November and December by working with businesses to improve security.

Posters and leaflets are being distributed to businesses across Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and St Helens to educate stores on how to report crime and maximise security, as well as offering advice on limiting cash amounts in tills.

Merseyside Police Superintendent Jenny Sims added: “Sadly, some people see our retail premises as an easy target. Some c-stores are run by local people who just want to earn a living and some are injured or left permanently traumatised by incidents.

“We will not tolerate these offenders who create a climate of fear and intimidation, and will use all the tools in our armoury to deter and prevent this type of crime.”

DNA security sprays, fogging machines and tagging systems are being installed at selected high-risk businesses.

Diane Nixon, owner of a Bargain Booze franchise in Liverpool, said: “I now have DNA spray security from Merseyside police. My stores have the best security measures to make sure thieves realise that they won’t succeed.”

Katherine Giblin, manager at the Co-operative, Ashtons Green Drive, St Helens, said: “Over the winter we suffer more cases of retail crime. We have CCTV and a fog machine to interrupt thieves who break in after hours. The police need to toughen up on retail crime, particularly at this time of year.”