NFRN Kent district president Harry Goraya’s closing remarks at an inaugural retail crime debate between police, retailers and prospective MPs show what an insightful retailer he is.

“It is quite clear that communication is the main issue,” he said. “We are all trying to achieve the same thing, but coming at it from different angles. Our effort will be wasted if we don’t get the message across to each other. However, if we work together we have a better chance of achieving our goal.”

The fact his district set the meeting up demonstrates what an asset he is to the federation.

Former crime minister Lord Henley first introduced me to police and crime commissioners (PCCs) when I interviewed him in December 2011 – nearly a year before the first elections.

Yet, the fact that nearly two years after the vote, PCC Ann Barnes was introducing herself to key local businesses in her area is telling about the level of communication improvements needed.

“It is your police force,” she told retailers at the meeting. “You pay your taxes for it and we need your input on how you would like to be policed.”

[pull_quote_right]Everyone is working towards the same goal and better communication is needed to achieve it[/pull_quote_right]

With superintendent Andy Rabey and representatives of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, they listened to the crimes retailers face every day and challenges they face in dealing with them.

Delegates were told about and invited to join a local business crime advisory group set up for this very purpose. Meanwhile, all parties took away several action points to follow up.

Harry’s right. Everyone is working towards the same goal and better communication is needed to achieve it. But this meeting was undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

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