Since taking over as NRFN national president in June last year, tackling retail crime has been high on my public affairs agenda. Indeed the federation takes every available opportunity to raise our concerns about crime levels and what more needs to be done to address them.

It’s a very serious problem. Only recently, a new survey revealed that the cost of retail crime has risen by 15.6 per cent in 2012 to £1.6billion.

But while it’s often the extreme and violent crime that tends to dominate newspaper headlines, in our current difficult economic times there is a notable rise in lower level crimes such as shoplifting, employee theft and criminal damage. These are issues of huge concern to NFRN members and need to be given the prominence they deserve.

So I am delighted to announce that the NFRN has taken some important and positive action, with the launch of a very informative new DVD called Security Matters, which highlights the importance of shop security and provides all the advice that our members need to know on how to tackle the main threats to their businesses.

The DVD comes in two parts. The first deals with external threats, while the second focuses on the sensitive but equally important issue of employee theft.

It can be viewed from the NFRN’s website or right here on betterRetailing.  Copies are also available from the NFRN helpline on 0845 601 5818.

So do make sure you take a look, and while on the subject, I would always urge retailers to report any instances of crime in their stores to their local police forces, no matter how small. By doing so we can ensure that the true picture of crime against independent retailers is collected as well as demonstrating that we are all in the business of tackling crime together.