The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the government to do more to recognise businesses as victims of crime and offer further support to affected retailers, in its submission to a Ministry of Justice consultation.
The consultation called for views on proposed themes and areas for reform ahead of a second consultation on a revised version of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code), which sets out the minimum level of service victims can expect from criminal justice agencies, such as the police and courts from the moment a crime is reported to the end of the trial.
The ACS reccomends promoting the rights of businesses through targeted communications and suggested that the code should make clear that every business must be offered the opportunity to make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB) for every crime reported, and must make clear businesses’ rights to consistent and clear communication on their case using a single point of contact.
An ACS Voice of Local Shops survey from February revealed that less than half (40%) of retailers who reported a violent incident to the police were made aware of the option to make an ISB.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores have a unique reach into our communities, providing customers with essential day to day services but sadly they are also all too frequently victims of traumatic crimes.
“These crimes have a profound effect on the individuals, businesses and the communities that they are committed against and our research has shown that these businesses are not getting the information or support that they need. It is vital that the government ensures that changes to the Code reflect the need for businesses to get support and guidance after an incident occurs.”