The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a campaign designed to highlight the impact of crime on retailers and their staff and urge the government and police to take the issue more seriously.
Under the Stop Crime Against Retail campaign, the consortium will strengthen its calls to government for stronger and more consistent penalties to deter criminals.
It will also call for the police to modify the system of crime reporting, to encourage victims to report crimes and to measure the true extent of retail crime.
BRC director-general, Kevin Hawkins, said: “Retail crime is not victimless. It leaves deep scars not only on business viability and retail staff, but also on the community.
“The retail sector has been forced to double investment in crime prevention to combat growing threats and these significant costs are often passed on to all threads of society.
“Retail crime is a priority for us and should be a higher priority for police and government,” he added.
At the BRC’s Annual Retail Crime Conference on 19 October, Home Office minister Hazel Blears will outline the effect of the government’s reform agenda on retail and the development of a specific national strategy for retail crime.