Businesses affected by crime will be able to make impact statements in court as part of the new Victims Code introduced by the government.

Following a consultation earlier this year, the new Victims Code includes a dedicated section recognising businesses as victims of crime, provisions for the inclusion of all businesses within the Code’s remit which previously only included small businesses and the creation of business impact statements to allow retailers to report the wider impact of crime on their stores. The new Code will come in to force in December 2013.

Victims’ Minister Damian Green said: “For too long victims have felt they are treated as an afterthought in the criminal justice system. No more. I am determined that victims are given back their voice and are fully supported.”

Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman welcomed the new code. “Retail crime is not victimless: there is always a human and monetary cost,” he said. “Allowing individuals and businesses to reflect the impact of crime will help give retailers the confidence that sentences will fit the crime.

“This new Victims Code signals a breakthrough for businesses that will now be taken seriously by the criminal justice system when they are victims of crime. The ACS played an instrumental role in ensuring that provisions for businesses are included in the Code, and we are pleased that government has listened to our views on this issue.”