Security cash ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ for staff facing violence

A
£15m government security scheme announced by the Home Office may not be enough
to protect retail staff from continual violence and abuse.

The
new scheme has been launched to improve the security of retailers in deprived
areas, but the leading industry body, the Association of Convenience Stores,
claims that the cash injection may not be enough to protect them from crime.

"It’s
obviously very helpful and sounds like a big investment, but over three years
it’s only £5m a year. This is just the tip of the iceberg," claimed James
Lowman, public affairs manager at ACS.

The
new funding will be targeted at areas that fall within the 10 per cent most
deprived wards in England and Wales, and will be distributed by selected Crime
and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

A
survey by the BRC in July found that incidents of violence against staff were
increasing, while a separate survey revealed that over half of all independent
shopkeepers had been attacked – double the number recorded last year.
"Increased security spending does protect staff, so it is helpful and
important. Because it’s aimed at the most deprived areas, hopefully it will get
to the staff who need it most, but this problem extends far beyond these areas,"
added Lowman.

How
the money is spend will depend on each individual area, but could include CCTV
and alarms, improved security lighting, better locks and toughened glass.

By Ross Wigham

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