More than 50 independent convenience retailers gathered in Luton, Bedfordshire, last week to discuss how to work better in partnership with the police, local authorities, trading standards and each other.

The event was organised by Nisa Local retailer Kishor Patel with the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

It was opened by Labour MP for Luton Gavin Shuker, who told retailers: "You should be badgering us MPs and making your views on legislation clear before it takes place."

Those attending the meeting also shared concerns over police response to anti-social behaviour. Local retailer Baz Patel said: "Many children get hold of alcohol because adults buy it for them and pass it on, but even when we can supply good CCTV evidence the police don't want to act. I hope this meeting will make the police think about this problem and encourage them to work with businesses like mine who want to assist them."

Kishor told his fellow retailers that while they were competitors in some areas, there were plenty of opportunities for them to join forces. "Compliance, regulation and partnership are areas we can work on together," he said.

ACS said it intended to roll out similar events across the UK.

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