The NFRN has called for better police response action to protect independent retailers, after a report revealed that violence and abuse against retail staff has risen by 40% in a year.

The plea came in response to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest Retail Crime Survey, the 2016 version, which also found that 56% of the retailers it surveyed felt that police responses to retail crime incidents were ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “The safety of our members is of paramount concern to the NFRN.  Sadly, these new figures released by the BRC show that, for many retailers, crime is an almost daily and very threatening menace, which has long-term impacts for both shop owners and their staff.

“As if the rising incidences of violence and abuse were not shocking enough, it’s frightening that many incidents will go unreported because more than half of the respondents do not believe the police will respond.  This figure could actually be much higher than any of us realise.”

The BRC surveyed its members for the 2016 Retail Crime Survey, questioning them on 10 major crime categories, including violence and abuse against staff, customer theft and insider threats, among others.