After the Riots - A new relationship between retailers and the police?

Looking at the aftermath of the London riots and a particularly bad week for Retailers I wonder if its time to reboot the relationship between Retailers and the Police?

As dramatic as the pictures were, of the entire contents of a shop being looted, the truth is that retail theft is a problem every day.

What the riots did was present the problem in a 24 hour news media friendly way. I mean when was the last time any 24 news channel reported on theft from retail?

I am sure many shopkeepers are thankful for police actions over the last few days.

Everyday theft happens from retailers and they complain that the police are not interested in dealing with these problems or protecting them.

So perhaps now its time to review what does retail want from the police?

Retailers have some responsibility to protect their stock to lock the door, provide CCTV etc. I guess the question is where the balance should lie, should retailers really expect theft of a 10p sweet to have a police response?
The answer for some is that not dealing with the 10p theft means it is bound to escalate to larger theft. Retailers pay a lot of local and national tax and are entitled to a level of protection.
For some the answer is its just an insurance claim. But did you know, that in the case of a riot (which has a strict definition), see story from the BBC here that if insured the insurance pays the shopkeeper then the insurance company can claim the money back from the Police Authority under a law from the 1800's! Who pays the Police Authority -> ordinary taxpayers and businesses. Potentially meaning less police on the streets.

In the case of a retailer who is not insured again they can claim from the Police Authority (but again only in the case of a riot)! The act is strict there are only 7 days to claim so if affected contact your lawyer today.

I would be really interested to hear your views and what you think the balance should be?

Post a Comment

  1. Mark,

    The law that allows the shopkeeper to submit a claim to the Police Authority may have made sense in the 1800's. It doesn't make sense today. Insurance is readily available (or at least it was before the riots). Operating a business without insurance seems a little reckless unless there is a very low probability of loss and an absolute guarantee of payment from the Police if losses do result.

    Less money in Police coffers will mean less Police on the streets and sets the stage for more riots. I certainly understand that businesses need to be compensated for losses. That's why insurance was created.

    In short, sticking the Police with the bill perpetuates the problem and fails to recognize that we no longer live in the 1800's.

    That's my opinion at least...

    Paul McCormack