Everybody breathed a sigh of relief at the news there would be no more cuts to police funding during the latest Budget. There are, however, painful decisions still to be made by forces up and down the country to meet demands set out in a previous budget.

I strongly believe that retailers need to reassess their view on shop theft and the ever-increasing risk of damage to our bottom line.

CCTV is a bit like epos: it doesn’t matter how high tech it is, you need to use it properly to make it pay. How many times do you think to yourself that reporting a shop theft is useless, or that the response you get is rubbish?

I’ve learned that persistence pays. Many years ago, I learned how to write a good police statement. How to structure it, what to put in and what to leave out. I now ensure that every time we have a theft, no matter how small, we report it. I write my own statement, prepare the CCTV and drop it off at a police station. If retailers were taught how to carry out this process, the police couldn’t simply refuse to attend, the statistics would be recorded and retail crime would be recognised as an area that needed funding.

At Wharfedale Premier we provide our staff with good security back-up; they have a 16 lane CCTV system, monitors giving views of blind spots, and are instructed never to put themselves between an offender and the door. By giving staff the knowledge to handle aggressive customers, we are doing everything possible to keep our team safe.

Our police service is fragile and needs to rebuild. By doing our bit and supporting the local policing team, bonds are strengthened and we can make the best of a bad job.