The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) has called for the winning party in next month’s general election to do more to protect retailers from cash and carry robberies.

In its manifesto, it calls on political parties to provide greater police support, look at new measures for tackling organised crime groups that target wholesalers and make crimes against businesses a greater priority.

The manifesto claims: “Our sector is targeted by these [organised] criminals, primarily to access tobacco to sell on the black market, with regular incidents against wholesalers and retail customers in both depots and shops.

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“As a result, employees of wholesalers and retailers can face the threat of physical violence in the course of their business.”

A recent investigation by betterRetailing uncovered that an average of at least 18 store owners a month are robbed outside cash and carries.

At the time, the FWD said its own measurements of wholesale crime showed it had remained “broadly the same” since it started measuring it eight years ago.

The FWD also called for other measures, including not introducing new packaging taxes for wholesalers, a mandatory allergen database, action against alcohol and sugar tax fraud, to show “restraint” in wage increases, and secure the “best possible” Brexit for food and drink wholesalers.

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