News Archive

Retail Steer

by msecadm4921

What more could be done to protect staff and lone workers?

That was the subject of a recent Home Office led meeting of representatives from ACPO, trade unions, the night time economy, high street retailers, small businesses and a range of representative organisations such as the Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP).

The meeting looked at what effective practice already exists, what is being developed and what additional work can be taken forward by the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) of which ABCP is a member and which is chaired by the crime prevention minster, James Brokenshire.

The shopworker trade union USDAW reported that there was significant under-reporting of incidents, particularly incidents of verbal abuse and that threats of violence were much more common than reported figures would suggest. There was also a strong link between verbal abuse and the legal requirement on shop workers to refuse sales of age-restricted products to people who look as if they may be under age and have no reliable proof of age.

Issues relating to the constraints of the criminal justice system in addressing violence against staff were discussed together with the benefits of preventative models such as ABCP’s exclusion notice scheme. It was noted that one of the key objectives of BCRPs (Business Crime Reduction Partnerships) is the protection of staff and that incident reporting processes and data analysis are invaluable processes that contribute towards the protection of staff and the apprehension of offenders. It was highlighted that more businesses should support and collaborate with BCRPs.

The importance of crime mapping and collation of incident data on a more local level was stressed to identify those businesses and individuals more likely to be subjected to violence/threats of violence.

The group was updated regarding the review by Baroness Newlove into Active Safer Communities to explore the role business can play in supporting and increasing community activism. There are four aspects of this review:

1. What ideas/suggestions do you have about how businesses might be able to provide more support directly to the local community?

2. What do you see as the barriers which could be removed, or incentives which could be introduced to encourage more business to get involved with their communities and particularly on community safety?

3. What discounts or rewards could business offer to communities who have got themselves organised?

4. How can we encourage businesses to get involved in the local community?

If anyone has suggestions – contact Richard Barron and he will pass on your suggestions accordingly.

The next meeting of the NRCSG is on February 17.

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