Real Action Promised on Retail Crime

Last night (19th July 2023), Ian Paisley MP led an adjournment debate in the House of Commons to highlight the serious issue of retail crime, and how it is affecting small businesses.


Highlighting the plight of independent retailers Mr Paisley commented that survey after survey shows that the public feel it is important that we have a thriving local high street, but that retailers like those represented by the British Independent Retailers Association are under threat because they are working on tighter and tighter margins whilst dealing with retail crime which is costing them over £600 million a year.


He continued to highlight the fact that it often takes over 30 convictions before a custodial sentence is given and that retailers “from Abbott’s in Devon to Mackays of Cambridge and across to Fermanagh in Ulster” do not feel supported on this issue because “a written question from the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson), who is a fellow vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on retail crime, safe and sustainable high streets, showed that the percentage of shop thefts dealt with by the justice system stands at 13%, down from 36%”


In response the Minister acknowledged that not enough was being done and promised to “convene a further meeting with the National Police Chiefs’ Council leads in this area, to make sure that there is an appropriate response at all times, that those crimes are investigated and prevented, and that there is appropriate prosecutorial follow-up”.


Andrew Goodacre, Chief Executive of the British Independent Retailers Association said: “It is good to see the Home Office promising real action on a serious issue faced by retailers across the country and we look forward to working with them to reduce the scourge of this crime.”

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