Retail crime is the subject that just won’t go away. It’s an ever-present threat to convenience retailers, an every day danger.
It shouldn’t be. It can be disheartening, reading about and speaking to the victims of crime, such as Kandhasamy Thyagarajan, who works at Siva Kandiah’s much-publicised Hackney store.
I remember visiting Siva’s store back in 2011, and seeing his trashed store the morning after the riots. And I remember shaking his hand at the NFRN Awards ceremony in 2011 after he’d been given his Community Retailer of the Year gong.
The journey he went on in those six months was, in the end, uplifting. To hear that he and his staff have been preyed upon by gangs of young thugs just highlights that the threat of violence never goes away – no matter who you are, and how much the wider community values you and your work.
Retail crime is an issue that simply MUST be covered by the major political parties in their manifestos in the run-up to the election. We need commitments on action, support, and sentencing.
“When we would close the shop and I had to go to the door, my heart would beat so fast,” Kandhasamy told us this week.
No-one that does a job so vital to the community in which they sit should have to feel like that.
Independent convenience retailers shouldn’t have to work in fear. We urge you to speak to your MP about the risks that you face every day behind the counter.