Indies call for £1,500 grants to combat retail crime

Retailers have called for a government grant to up security measures amid rising retail crime

Security CCTV camera

Members of the Fed and British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) have called on the government to provide funds to help them cope with rising crime levels.

The trade groups have written to policing minister Chris Philp for a £1,500 government grant per retailer to help ‘beef up’ security systems amid shoplifting epidemic.

In August, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) crime survey revealed there has been a 24% increase in shoplifting offences logged by police forces in England and Wales.

Larger stores rolling out initiatives such as offering workers body cameras, placing security tags on items, and offering PCCs free coffee to boost police presence, while smaller retailers have tighter margins.

OPINION: Police pledges to deal with shoplifters are a good start – Muntazir Dipoti, national president, the Fed

While the Fed and BIRA have welcomed the news that police are committed to investigating every theft, members say a grant is needed to access to high quality security measures, such as CCTV and panic buttons.

The Fed’s National President Muntazir Dipoti said government intervietion is “crucial” to safeguard retailers, but particularly smaller shops.

“Security measures are expensive to buy and install, and we as shop owners need support to protect ourselves, our staff and our livelihoods,” he said.

“The justice system and independent retailers should be given financial support so they can invest in better-quality CCTV to protect them, their staff and their businesses.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, we are seeing regular customers turning to shoplifting because they can’t afford to live. The burden of crime prevention shouldn’t fall on retailers’ shoulders.”

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