One year on from last summer’s riots, new figures suggest a broadly positive view of how retailers feel about the communities they serve, their safety and their interaction with local police.
The Voice of Local Shops survey conducted by ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) reveals that:
39% of retailers feel that their community is more safe
42% of retailers feel that their community is more united
Most retailers have engaged with the local police (50%) or community support officers (66%) in the past year
53% are confident that the police will be better able to respond to civil unrest
A significant percentage of retailers ‘don’t know’ whether their community is safer (39%) or more united (44%); and 22% report the feeling that their community is less safe and 14% more divided.
The survey also revealed that retailers are more engaged in structured community activity than ever before. 70% of retailers are involved in some kind of community initiative such as collecting money for charity, supporting community events, sponsorship for local sports teams or community meetings or projects.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “A year ago retailers shared fear and miscomprehension about the violence inflicted on shops in cities across the country. Very quickly they were heartened by the way communities came together to repair damage and rebuild the community spirit that could have been destroyed.
“What these insights tell us is that a year on more retailers feel safer and believe their communities are more united. This suggests that it is the aftermath, rather than the riots themselves, that has had the more telling impact on local shop owners.
“It is also heartening to see that retailers are more engaged with local Police and Community Support Officers and that more retailers than ever before are engaged in structured community events."