Violence during the past few days has resulted in shops being wrecked, looted and set on fire. Retailers are calling for intelligence-led information to help them protect their properties and want reassurances those responsible for vandalism and theft will be suitably punished.
The BRC has outlined a number of critical issues which it wants to raise on behalf of retailers to Home Secretary Theresa May.
These include assurances the police and fire services are adequately resourced and equipped, that there will be resolute pursuit of offenders with effective prosecutions, and immediate support to help shopkeepers protect their properties, including practical assistance in securing and clearing up after attacks.
BRC director general, Stephen Robertson says, ‘The shocking levels of lawlessness breaking out across the UK are hitting the heart of our communities. The police have shown great courage in facing the vandals but it is imperative retailers know that resources and plans are in place to prevent any repeat of this trouble.
‘Targeting local shops as an expression of anger and frustration is mindless. These criminal acts destroy community resources, hurting local businesses and threatening people’s jobs. Staff are being intimidated and traumatised. Those responsible must be prosecuted and punished. Retailers and their staff are particularly vulnerable and need protecting.’
Robertson adds that as well as the immediate bills caused by damage and theft, there will be longer-term costs, with some affected businesses that will never open their doors again. He also says that banks need to offer good credit arrangements to those targeted so as many as possible have a chance to refit and reopen.
He concludes, ‘I’m reassured that many people have expressed their disgust at the events of the past few days. I hope they’ll join retailers in doing all they can to rebuild their neighbourhoods.’