The British Retail Consortium is calling for tougher action against retail crime, as part of its Get Tough on Retail Crime campaign, ahead of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections on May 2.

BRC is calling on candidates standing for the upcoming PCC elections to commit to a tougher stance on retail crime since violence and abuse against retail staff skyrocketed in the last year.

As part of its Get Tough on Retail Crime campaign, BRC is urging police candidates to make retail crime a priority in future Police and Crime plans and ensure the standalone offence of assault against a retail worker is used effectively.

BRC also urged the allocation of necessary resources for tackling the issue as its latest crime survey revealed that levels of violence and abuse against retail staff had reached more than 1,300 country-wide incidents per day in 2022-23, up from 870 in the year before.

The campaign comes after the government announced earlier this month that it will invest £55.5m in facial recognition technology over the next four years to help “catch perpetrators and prevent shoplifting” as part of its crackdown on retail crime.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Inadequate police action has given criminals free rein to steal goods and assault retail colleagues. Newly elected PCCs have a fantastic opportunity to get tough on retail crime through the new standalone offence, and I hope the next wave of PCCs deliver the protections that those working in retail and our communities up and down the country deserve.”