Convenience retailers have responded to a consultation from the Ministry of Justice calling for the government to do more to support businesses who are victims of crime.
The consultation called for views on proposed themes and areas for reform ahead of publishing a second consultation on a revised version of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code).
The Victims’ Code sets out the minimum level of service victims can expect from criminal justice agencies, such as the police and courts from the moment a crime is reported to the end of the trial.
Findings from ACS’ Voice of Local Shops polling of 1,200 convenience retailers in February 2019 show that only 40% of retailers who reported a violent incident to the police were made aware of the option to make an impact statement for business (ISB).
ACS’ main recommendations for changes to the Victims’ Code include focusing on Chapter 4 of the Code in the second consultation and promoting the rights of businesses through targeted communications.
The Code and accompanying guidance should make clear that every business must be offered the opportunity to make an Impact Statement for Business for every crime reported, the ACS says.
The Code must make clear businesses rights to consistent and clear communication on their case throughout their victim journey using a single point of contact, ACS recommends.
James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “Convenience stores have a unique reach into our communities, providing customers with essential day to day services but sadly they are also all too frequently victims of traumatic crimes.
“These crimes have a profound effect on the individuals, businesses and the communities that they are committed against and our research has shown that these businesses are not getting the information or support that they need. It is vital that the government ensures that changes to the Code reflect the need for businesses to get support and guidance after an incident occurs.”