The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged ministers not to be complacent about the level of crime facing retailers, after the government’s latest survey showed a significant fall in the level of crime.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) reports that overall crime levels fell by 10% in the year to September 2013, with a 13% fall in violent crime in the same period.

Speaking on the publication of the results, Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “England and Wales are safer than they have been for decades with crime now at its lowest level since the survey began in 1981.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “These figures show a welcome overall decline in the level of crime, but crimes against retailers are still far too high.

“We cannot grow complacent over the effectiveness of crime prevention measures when according to our Voice of Local Shops survey, 51% of retailers have experienced verbal or physical abuse and 75% have been victims of shop theft over the last year.”