The retail trade has called for increased levels of co-operation between police and store owners in the wake of a tragic murder of a customer outside a convenience store in East Sussex.

Chris Poole had just exited the First Choice Premier store in Eastbourne when he was allegedly attacked by a gang of youths, and died the same day as a result of his injuries. A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and 19-year-old Shane Noble have both been charged with murder.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman appealed for a joint approach to the issue of gangs outside shops. “We strongly advocate partnership working in preventing anti-social behaviour. This requires police, retailers and other agencies to work together to intervene at the earliest stage.”

Norfolk retailer Nigel Dowdney has been plagued with gangs outside his store in the past. “There were gangs outside the store all of the time, causing trouble and frightening away customers,” he said. “It was only when we urged the police to get involved and increase their presence that the problem eased off but that took a long time.”