Tackling anti-social behaviour requires more partnership working, the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores has told an audience of local authority and police representatives.

Speaking at a Westminster Briefing event, Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour: New Powers for a New Approach, James Lowman told the conference: “Local authorities have to engage with local shops. We operate at the heart of communities and can be both the most affected by anti-social behaviour and the best placed to provide information to tackle these problems.

“This is important, because we must do everything we can to encourage shops to stay in communities that would be much worse off and less safe without local shops serving them.”

On the challenge facing retailers, Lowman said: “We need to start at the most local level, with the business next door, and the PCSO [police community support officer] that patrols your area. Retailers can then get involved in formal local partnerships.”

Regarding the new powers being introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour, Lowman added: “ACS pushed hard for businesses’ concerns about anti-social behaviour to be given the same priority as those from residents, and it will encourage retailers to engage locally if they know their concerns will be met with a response. We also welcome the community remedy powers as a way of empowering victims and dealing more effectively with crime in communities.”