Almost all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) elected on 5 May have given their commitment to a series of measures by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) to tackle local retail crime.

The ACS contacted a number of candidates across England and Wales ahead of this month’s election asking them to commit to help local shops deal with crime in their area.

Of those elected, almost all committed to every measure suggested with just one exception: only a third of respondents are dedicated to suspending the use of fixed penalty notices for theft offences when not being used appropriately.

The five suggested ACS commitments are as follows:

  • To recognise business crime as a problem and increase its priority on the Police and Crime Plan
  • To ensure that businesses and the police know what to expect from each other, including how to best report crime (especially for high volume, low value offences like shop theft)
  • To support neighbourhood policing
  • To ensure that fixed penalty notices are being used appropriately and to suspend their use for shop theft offences if they are not
  • To enhance intelligence sharing between businesses, neighbouring police forces and national business crime networks

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “We are pleased that Police and Crime Commissioners intend to raise the profile of business crime internally and foster relationships between businesses and local police forces, but we remain concerned that shop theft, which costs the convenience sector in excess of £43m a year, is not being dealt with effectively by the police at local level.

“We are urging retailers to contact their Police and Crime Commissioners and explain to them the damage that shop theft does to their business, and to make sure that fixed penalty notices are only used appropriately and effectively.”