Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

We've just launched our 2019 Crime Report, and it's another shocking insight into the extent and frequency of crime against our sector. Let's start with the financial impact: crimes committed against the convenience sector cost an estimated £246m over the past year, equivalent to over £5,300 for every store in the UK, or what amounts to a 7p 'tax' on every single transaction.

Of course, this is detrimental to c-stores and damaging to the sector because this cost causes many retailers to invest in crime prevention rather than positive store development, delays investments which are no longer affordable, or even means products or services are withdrawn because they represent too high a risk. We shouldn't forget the direct business impact of crime, but it's not really the point here is it?

Crime committed in convenience stores directly impacts the people both retailers and staff who work there. The impact at the time or in the immediate aftermath of an incident is acute, but the effects can last much longer. At a recent ACS event, we heard about colleagues being diagnosed with PTSD, being frightened to walk to and from work, and fearful for their families' safety as well as their own. I don't write this to dramatise the impact of crime or simply to shame the police or the government, but we must state the full impact of crime and commit to tackling these extremely significant consequences. Nor should we believe this human cost is rare. The Crime Report shows that a staggering 83% of people working in c-stores have been subject to verbal abuse over the last year.

This is why when the Home Office asked us to deliver a campaign which highlights the human impact of abuse and violence in shops, we didn't think twice about taking on this responsibility. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the impact of violence and abuse on people working in shops and to spread a simple message: it is not part of your job and you can and you should report these incidents.

If would like to receive a poster for your store or if you have any questions about the campaign, please visit our website or call 01252 515001.

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