In the aftermath of the riots that devastated many stores in cities across the UK, Convenience Store has set up a e-petition on the HM Government website to demand tougher sentences for criminals who attack retailers serving the local community.

Local shops stay open long hours to serve the public in their communities, and staff deserve to be properly protected by the authorities. We want penalties for criminals who attack local retailers and their staff to be in line with those handed out for attacking other community workers such as nurses, police officers, fire fighters or paramedics.

Siva Kandiah of Clarence Convenience Store in Hackney, East London, lost £10,000 worth of stock to looters who attacked his store and is facing financial ruin, but remains defiant and is continuing to trade.

“Everything was taken by the looters, there was nothing left,” he said. “For the first time ever I was tempted to not open the store but I had to do it for the good people of Hackney who have given me tremendous support. It will take some time to rebuild but I will not let these looters beat me.”

To help get justice for Siva and for all retailers who might be the victims of criminal attacks in the future, you can sign the petition at

The Prime Minister has confirmed that any e-petition gaining 100,000 signatures will be debated in the House of Commons.