Retailers have been urged to engage with their local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) “whether they voted in the elections or not”.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman called on retailers to work with the newly-elected commissioners on retail crime in their area.

“The direction of the policies they set in their Police and Crime Plans is hugely important because it could affect the attitude of the police to alcohol licensing, neighbourhood policing, response times for retail crime, anti-social behaviour and the use of Fixed Penalty Notices among other operational decisions,” he said.

The PCC elections were marred by a poor turnout with a national average of just 15%. There was also a large number of spoilt votes cast in the election, with many voters expressing their disapproval of the process.

Humberside retailer Sergi Singh saw first-hand the poor turn-out. His Jackpot Wines store in Hull was used as a polling station and he saw a low participation rate. “We had a turn-out of around 15% but that was probably only because having the polling station in the store made it easy for voters,” he said. “It was mostly older people voting but a lot of customers didn’t understand the elections or know who the candidates were.”