ACS has called for government to promote the message that ‘people are more important than property’ in a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday afternoon.

The meeting, attended by ACS chief executive James Lowman and other business representatives, was called to discuss the impact of the recent riots across the UK on retailers and look at how businesses can stay safe in the continuing volatile climate.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers need to hear a consistent message from government that the safety of people is more important than property.”

ACS also issued a statement yesterday with the following eight points of advice to retailers:

1. Consult the Metropolitan Police’s guidance to businesses ( to prepare for any incidents.

2. Keep in close contact with other retailers and local people to see if there is a likelihood of problems arising in the local area.

3. If violence is occurring in the locality, and if in doubt, close their stores and use shutters where possible to protect the business.

4. Consider where they and their staff will be safest, and go there swiftly.

5. Report information on criminal behaviour in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

6. Use the Caravan helpline: 08088 021122 as a first port of call for anyone who has been affected by these incidents and wants support and advice.

7. Let ACS know of any information on the disorder relating to your store so that this can be fed into COBRA discussions.

8. Keep an eye on @riotcleanup on Twitter to find out if you can help your community tackle the aftermath of the disorder.