Retailers must make police aware of the scale of retail crime by reporting low-value thefts and incidents of abuse more often, a prominent Spar retailer has told RN after suffering a major theft.

Thieves broke into Susan Connolly’s Spar Ludgershall store in Wiltshire in the early hours of 7 April, making off with £8,000 of cigarettes and stamps.

Ms Connolly told RN: “Communication between police and retailers needs to improve. The police were great on the night of the burglary, but they’ve now gone cold. I haven’t heard from them since.”

She said police do not recognise the extent of the industry’s crime problem because smaller incidents go unreported. “For verbal abuse and thefts under £200, say, most retailers don’t bother telling the authorities. It takes time but it’s worth it. The police need to realise the sheer volume of crimes we deal with.”

The theft came less than a month after Ms Connolly spoke at the Association of Convenience Stores 2018 Crime Seminar in London on the need for police to engage more with retailers.