One year after the riots, retailers are feeling safer and more involved in their communities, a survey has revealed.
According to the Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Voice of Local Shops survey 39% of retailers feel that their community is safer and that 42% of retailers feel that their community is more united than this time last year.
The survey also revealed that retailers are more engaged in structured community activity than ever before. It reported that 70% of retailers are involved in some kind of community initiative such as collecting money for charity, supporting community events, sponsorship for local sports teams or community meetings or projects.
Engagement with the police has also improved with 50% of respondents engaging with their local force or 66% with community support officers. More than half (53%) are confident that the police will be better able to respond to civil unrest
The riots, which took place in several UK cities last August, caused over £500m worth of damage, including £300m worth of lost business sales.
ACS chief executive James Lowman praised retailers and communities for coming together in the way that they have. “A year ago retailers shared fear and miscomprehension about the violence inflicted on shops in cities across the country,” he said. “Very quickly they were heartened by the way communities came together to repair damage and rebuild the community spirit that could have been destroyed.
“It is also heartening to see that retailers are more engaged with local Police and Community Support Officers and that more retailers than ever before are engaged in structured community events,” he added.