James Brokenshire has underlined the importance of tackling crimes against business and how Government reforms will support this work in a speech to representatives from the retail industry. Speaking at the British Retail Consortium Annual Retail Crime and Loss Prevention Conference, James highlighted the significant role that shops and retailers play within communities and why responding to crime in the business environment was important.
The Minister pointed to a range of policies which would combat the problem, including: making the police more accountable to the communities they serve through the election of police and crime commissioners and greater transparency on performance; cutting police bureaucracy to keep them on the streets; and establishing a new National Crime Agency to provide a stronger response to organised crime across the country.
James said that one of the issues he was particularly concerned about was assaults and violence against shop staff. Commenting he said:
"The Government is determined to tackle violence whenever and wherever it occurs. Just like the rest of the population, retail staff deserve to work in an environment that is as safe and secure as possible.
"There are clear sentencing guidelines which state that where the victim of a violent assault is engaged in providing a service to the public this is an aggravating factor and must be taken into account when determining the sentence for an offence. This applies whether or not the victim is a public servant."
You can read the full speech on the Home Office website.