Retailers and trade bodies have welcomed the launch of the government’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy (MCPS), but claim more police resources are needed for the measures to prove effective in curbing retail crime.

Launching the scheme this month, home secretary Theresa May said the MCPS will be used to help authorities tackle new and developing crimes against businesses.

Measures in the strategy include creating local partnerships with councils to prevent alcohol and drug-related retail crime from an earlier stage, and looking at ways to curb growing levels of fuel theft from forecourt sites.

Ralph Patel, national president of the NFRN, said he “applauded” the government for its focus on retail crime.

However, he added: “The police are facing more administrative pressures and cuts, and more resources need to be put into this for it to be effective.

“If they haven’t got enough officers at ground level, they will struggle to make this work.”

Mr Patel’s call follows on from this month’s Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Retail Crime Report, where shadow police minister Jack Dromey revealed forces had lost 18,000 officers over the past year.

James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, said the association was working closely with the government on the MCPS as part of the National Retail Crime Steering Group.

“We need better working relationships between retailers and the police, based on good reporting and a swift police response to reports on crime,” said Mr Lowman.

Paul Baxter, chief executive of the NFRN added: “We welcome any measure that helps to protect our members from crime but there is much more that needs to be done on this. We will continue to put pressure on MPs and PCCs to make sure retail crime is pushed up the agenda.”