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Indie jewellery retailer creates unique gold ‘Key Ring’ for new ITVX series

6 Dec 2023

Bristol and Cirencester-based bespoke fine jewellery retailer Titcombe Bespoke Jewellery, a member of the National Association of Jewellers, has received one of its most unusual commissions... Read more…

Family-owned butcher’s shop hopes 'Mary' will help Wigan families in need of food.

6 Dec 2023

Reynolds’ Butchers in Parbold, near Wigan, have set up a scheme called Mary’s Mince to help people living in the village.
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American Express Shop Small Highlights UK’s Top High Streets for Independent Shops

5 Dec 2023

Research commissioned by American Express Shop Small reveals the top 10 high streets for independent shops in the UK, shining a light on the nation’s small businesses that play... Read more…

Trade organisations call on PCCs to act on local crime as retailers report record theft

5 Dec 2023

A new campaign is calling on police & crime commissioners to tackle crime on a local level, as theft against convenience retailers reaches record highs.
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London small businesses make up to 86% of their annual revenue during the festive period.

4 Dec 2023

Recent data from VistaPrint, reported by London Loves Business, has revealed that 70% of London small businesses generate up to a substantial 86% of their annual revenue... Read more…

Concerns expressed by retail leaders following Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

23 Nov 2023

Retail sector leaders have expressed a range of concerns, from taxation to business rates, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week.
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Winners of Booker Prize Indie Bookshop Spotlight competition named.

22 Nov 2023

Six independent bookshops from around the UK have been named as the winners of the inaugural Booker Prize Indie Bookshop Spotlight, a competition in which independent bookshops and booksellers... Read more…

New Conservative Party chairman writes responds to NFSP DVLA petition.

21 Nov 2023

The National Federation of Subpostmasters has received a response from new Conservative party chairman Richard Holden MP regarding the petition to keep DVLA services in post offices.
... Read more…

British Business Bank launches new ‘Making business finance work.

21 Nov 2023

The British Business Bank has launched a new guide aimed at smaller businesses to help them understand how different financial products can support them at all stages of their development.
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Indie Shops to Boycott Black Friday

21 Nov 2023

Independent retailers across the UK are set to defy the Black Friday sales frenzy for the third year running, according to a survey conducted by Bira, the British Independent Retailers... Read more…

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Indie retailers say policing minister’s citizen’s arrest solution to retail crime is ‘high risk’

Posted on in Business News

Policing minister Chris Philp has encouraged shop workers to make ‘citizen’s arrests’ on shoplifters, a message branded as ‘dangerous and irresponsible’  by retail union USDAW.

Chris Philip

At the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Philp said: “I would also just remind everyone that the wider public, including shop staff and security guards, do have the power of citizen’s arrest and where it’s safe to do so I would encourage that to be used. Because if you do just let people walk in and take stuff and walk out without proper challenge, including potentially a physical challenge, then it will just escalate.”

However, national president of the Fed Muntazir Dipoti said this tactic is “high risk” and advised against it.

He said: “When shop staff challenge thieves they are often subject to abuse and sometimes assault. We tell our staff to never try to physically stop a crime. It goes without saying that we would never want our customers to expose themselves to this high risk either.”

USDAW general secretary Paddy Lillis agreed: “This kind of ‘DIY policing’ is dangerous and irresponsible. The minister needs to rethink his strategy, invest in putting more police on the beat and introduce a standalone offence for assaulting a shop worker, like they have in Scotland.

“USDAW’s very clear advice to our members is not to intervene or try to detain a shoplifter, their priority is to keep themselves safe. The retail employers we deal with also give the same advice to their staff. So it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding by the minister to suggest staff should be doing the job of the police.

“We are even more alarmed that he suggests the public should be performing citizen’s arrests in stores. Our members suffered first-hand when the public tried to police each other on Covid rules, with fights breaking out in aisles and shop workers refereeing arguments between customers. We do not want to see a return to that.”

The minister added that he is also planning to tackle crime levels by enabling facial CCTV images to be matched with information on passports and other government databases. However, it will take an estimated two years to create the IT system.

Members of the Fed and British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) are calling for alternative solutions to citizen’s arrests and a new IT system and are asking the government to provide a £1,500 grant to help them cope with rising crime levels.

Dipoti commented that, to tackle shoplifting, increased resources are needed for the police and judiciary, and retailers also need better CCTV and other security equipment to help police with investigations.

Dipoti added: “We want the police to be able to attend more crimes and quickly. But the Fed is urging the UK and Scottish governments to provide a £1,500 grant to small shops which can’t afford the security they need.”

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