James Lowman ACS

ACS chief executive James Lowman

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is calling on retailers to share their experiences of retail crime over the past 12 months in the 2021 Crime Survey.

The survey examines the impact that crime has on the convenience sector, looking at how crime is affecting retailers, the number of incidents experienced and how much crime has cost businesses over the last year. The survey also considers the causes of these crimes and the measures retailers have in place to prevent crime in their stores.

There is also a new section in this year’s survey specifically looking at the scale and impact of Covid-19 related abuse caused by issues such as customers unwilling to follow social distancing measures and being challenged for not wearing face coverings.

Figures from the ACS Covid Impact Survey, conducted during the first lockdown, showed that 40% of retailers had experienced an increase in violence and abuse since the start of the pandemic.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Crimes committed against local shops are not only financially damaging but can have serious and life changing effects on retailers and their colleagues.

“Dealing with crime is one of the biggest challenges facing convenience retailers and their colleagues, and for many this problem has gotten worse, not better during the pandemic.

“The survey is crucial in informing our 2021 Crime Report, which forms an evidence base for our campaigns for changes in policy to support retailers, from local forces to police and crime commissioners to central government.

“I urge all retailers to take the time to respond to this survey so that we can ensure that their voice is heard.”

The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CrimeSurvey2021 All responses are strictly confidential. The deadline for responses is 15 January 2021.