Are the police letting retailers down?

Labour MP David Lammy has accused Scotland Yard of failing to “take seriously” crimes against retailers, such as shoplifting and burglary.

Concerned that the Met dropped nearly half its investigations into ‘property crimes’ last year, he explained his concerns in the London Evening Standard.

“Is it any wonder that people don’t feel that the police and the criminal justice system are on their side,” he asked.

The evidence for this is mounting, with new figures revealing half of all reported property crimes in London last year resulted in ‘no further action’ from the police, and 70 per cent of investigations into robbery were dropped completely.

Retailers said these statistics are reflected in their own experiences of crime and how the police deal with it.

Londis retailer Binny Amin, said: “Anytime we’ve encountered crooks the police have been lazy to turn up.

“The response times are always really late and they’re often more concerned with the CCTV instead of actually catching the criminal.”

Richard Huby, of Paper House Newsagents in Doncaster, said: “We had an incident fairly recently and reported the crime straight away, but the length of time it took for the police to respond was farcical. If someone was robbing my shop, I’d be inclined to get involved myself instead of waiting for them to arrive.”

With his shop on Market Place often surrounded by drunks and drug addicts, Huby said he feels “isolated and abandoned” by local police, which has been instrumental in his trade falling to half of what it was 10 years ago.

“There doesn’t even seem to be time for a friendly check-in from the police,” he added.

But some retailers said they have a good working relationship with the police.

Tina Thompson of Costcutter in Bath has nothing but praise for her local coppers. “Any problems and they’re here at once,” she said.


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