Retailers have called on the government to re-think its policy over Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) after a new report said it was not clear how much they contributed to a reduction in crime.

The report by the Committee of Public Accounts said that nearly £1bn had been spent through CDRPs over the past five years - but fewer than half the partnerships considered their work had contributed to a measurable reduction in crime.

It also suggested the effectiveness of CDRPs could be increased if there were fewer but geographically bigger partnerships, with the remaining ones sharing the best crime reduction initiatives from around the country and covering larger areas in order to address crime displacement.

Retailers believe the government should put more effort into advertising CDRPs to get more local businesses involved. Dave Newman, who runs three c-stores in East Sussex, has taken part in his local CDRP and agrees with some of the report. He said: “From what I can gather, some partnerships have been more effective than others. Councils, the police and retailers should be more pro-active in working together rather than cutting back on numbers. The successful partnerships should be held up to those that haven’t taken off yet as an example.”

Tony Washington, who runs Taylors Foodstore in Honley, West Yorkshire, said he had no knowledge or experience of CDRPs but he would be interested in taking part in any initiatives that cut local crime. “People say retailers need to do more to contact their local council but when do we get the time? It should be up to them to contact us.”