The head of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail and Business Crime has said that he is looking forward to the challenge of raising awareness of this serious issue.

Speaking exclusively to Convenience Store, MP for Hove and Portslade Mike Weatherley said that he aims to "bridge the gap between industry and parliament to raise the profile of retail and business" and that 31 MPs had already asked to join the group.

The group was formed to raise public and government awareness of the threat of retail crime and its effects on businesses. It hopes to address issues such as reporting crimes, support for Business Crime Reduction Partnerships and communication between different constabularies.

Weatherley said that retailers needed to make their voices heard if they wanted authorities to work harder to tackle crime. "Retailers need to work with police and MPs. That should be top of their priorities," he said.