The new chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on retail crime, MP Steve McCabe, has urged retailers to meet with their local MPs to reinforce the need for protection. 

NFRN head of political engagement Adrian Roper met McCabe alongside MP David Hanson, two representatives from the House of Lords and one from the House of Commons last week in Parliament. 

The meeting comes after crime minister Victoria Atkins pledged her support to protect shop workers in a letter in January, following a retailer roundtable. 

Referring to her promise of a consultation on a review of assault guidelines in the summer, Hanson stressed the importance of submissions. 

“We are expecting a consultation in the summer and it is vital that there is a general effort from all parties,” he said. “It is what we say in the consultation that matters.”

“We want MPs to get involved, but don’t want to swamp the consultation,” he added. “If six newsagents sent a letter to their local MP explaining why they are getting involved it would give it some traction. There is potential for real change here.”

McCabe agreed: “This sounds like a good way to go forward.”

It was confirmed, with McCabe’s support, that Hanson will submit an application to hold a debate in Westminster about the future plans of the National Retail Crime Steering Group. 

The lack of police response to low-value retail crime was also high on the agenda. McCabe suggested writing to the police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to find out where this sat within their policing plans. “It would be interesting to find out how many PCCs acknowledge that this is an issue,” he said. 

The next meeting is scheduled for 22 May 2019.

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