High-profile Nisa retailer Paul Cheema, co-owner of Malcolm’s Stores in Coventry, has received messages of support from shoppers and fellow retailers after taking part in Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.
Paul featured prominently in the Lawless Britain: Where are the Police? episode of the show, which aired on October 8. The programme set out to uncover the number of reported crimes that are dropped with little or no police investigation.
Since appearing on the show, Paul’s customers have rallied round the store, although he has heard nothing from the police.
“We’ve had lots of kind words from customers and many of them have been shocked and annoyed by the police’s response to the incidents of crime that we’ve had in the stores,” he said.
“Some of them blame the local police but I can guarantee if it’s happening in my stores then the same thing is happening to other retailers too.”
Paul has been left frustrated by the lack of response and communication from police to retail crime taking place in his stores, which includes a number of armed robberies.
He added: “Me and [Nisa retailer] Rav Garcha met with the West Midland Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) earlier this year and he promised us that he would do something but now I’ve found out he doesn’t even take public phone calls!
“If he is elected to his role then he should be taking calls from the public and he should be taking action. I haven’t heard anything at all from the police since the programme was shown.”
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) helped put Paul in touch with his local PCC, and ACS chief executive James Lowman has worked closely with Paul on a number of retail crime reports and projects.
Paul said his work with the ACS led to his involvement in the Dispatches programme and he hoped something good would come from his appearance on the show.
“Something needs to change be done and something needs to change,” Paul said. “The problem is that the products being stolen in raids on our stores on not being sold on the street, they are going back into the system and being sold by other retailers.
“These stores need to know that they should stop what they are doing, especially with all the track and trace laws coming out next year. If they don’t, they could be putting their business at serious risk.”