London retailers are under more threat from armed robbery. Figures from the London Metropolitan Police show that the number of raids on commercial premises such as convenience stores and newsagents rose by 24% between April and December 2009 compared to the same period of the previous year.
Detective superintendent Stuart Cundy, of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad said there will be a renewed focus on cutting out commercial crime.
“Any report of commercial armed robbery, whether the gun is imitated or real, will be responded to by specialist armed officers,” he said. “You therefore stand a much greater chance of being arrested and ultimately convicted.
“We are closely monitoring where these offences occur and working hard with our borough colleagues and local businesses in a targeted approach to crack down on these offenders,” he added.
Cundy said that there is has been a decline in robberies on cash-in-transit vans in recent months following a campaign by the police on these incidents. “We have seen a shift from one type of armed robbery, and an increase in those on premises ranging from fast-food takeaways to shops and restaurants,” he said.