Retailers have been advised to engage with the candidates for the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections.

Speaking at the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) crime prevention forum, chief executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Mark Castle said that retailers would need to get involved to ensure that the issue of business crime is being properly addressed.

“Lowering crime requires an effective partnership and retailers will have a key role to play in this partnership,” he said.

“Working with retailers can help identify offenders and cut crimes affecting the community. Retailers will be a crucial link to any PCC’s efforts to cut local crime and they should be targeted by any candidate as someone to engage with.”

The PPC elections will take place in early November. Once elected the commissioners will have sole responsibility for holding the police force in their area to account.

Lord Prescott, the Labour nominee in Humberside, advised retailers not to wait until the election to get in touch with candidates. “Once they take up the role, it’ll be more difficult to get time with them,” he said. “Retailers need to be arranging meetings with the candidates now to ensure their voice is heard.”

ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan also urged retailers to get vocal with the candidates. “Police and Crime Commissioners will play a vital role in shaping police priorities, and as elected politicians they will listen to those that make their case best and loudest,” he said. “The issues affecting retailers will only be on the agenda for commissioners if retailers put them there.”