The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed changes to the Victims Code to give a stronger voice to retailers affected by crime.
In the Government's original consultation, "Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses", ACS set out clear recommendations that the Victims Code should take into account the impact on businesses.
The revised Code includes a dedicated section recognising businesses as victims of crime, provisions for the inclusion of all businesses within the Code's remit (which previously only included small businesses) and the creation of 'business impact statements' to allow retailers to report the wider implications of crime on their stores.
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: "The fact that the Victims Code recognises the impact of crime on businesses is a breakthrough in our efforts to get retail victims taken seriously in the criminal justice system. Retailers like anyone else should have the opportunity to reflect to the Courts the impact that a crime has had on themselves, their staff and the communities they serve. We played an instrumental role in securing these provisions within the Code and we welcome that Government listened to our arguments."
"Retail crime is not victimless: there is always a human and monetary cost. Allowing individuals and businesses to reflect the impact of crime will give retailers the confidence that sentences will fit the crime."
In addition to the Victims Code, Government introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill to Parliament which will empower victims of crime through the Community Remedy and hold police and local authorities to account when responding to crimes against business.