To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of implications for his policies of the findings of the Association of Convenience Stores Crime Report 2019 that (a) the total cost of crime for the convenience sector was £246 million, (b) there were 9,782 incidents of violence against people working in local shops and (c) convenience retailers had invested £4,080 per store in crime prevention equipment; and if he will make a statement.
All forms of retail crime are unacceptable, and everyone has the right to feel safe at work.
I chair the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) which brings together partners including the police, trade bodies including the Association of Convenience Stores - and retailers and is overseeing a range of work to tackle retail crime. This includes the collation and dissemination of good practice and developing guidance on the use of Impact Statements for Business, which give victims of business crime the opportunity to set out the impact the crime has had on the business, including, for example, financial loss. The NRCSG also continues to work with retailers to improve the management and response to shop theft using a partnership approach according to local circumstances.
Government encourages businesses to continue their efforts to protect themselves from crime, and I commend the investment that the convenient sector has made.
On 21 January I announced that we will launch a call for evidence on violence and abuse towards shop workers to strengthen our understanding of this issue, including how existing legislation is being applied.
In addition, the Sentencing Council is reviewing its guidelines on assault and a consultation on a revised guideline is anticipated to commence this Summer.