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Issue Date:- 26 May 2008

Drugs and drink fuel violence against retailers

SHOCKING stats show one-in-five UK retailers (20%) have been the victim of violent crime over the past 12 months, according to the 2008 Retail Violence Survey carried out by trade magazine Independent Retail News.

The extent of violence varies from region to region. The figure is worst in the south-east where 29% of retailers suffered violence of one form or another, followed by Scotland (20%), the south-west (18%), Northern Ireland (16%), north-east (13%), Wales (11%) and north-west (7%).

Of those retailers who suffered violence, one-in-five retailers (22%) experienced robbery over the past year, compared to 14% in 2007, according to the survey and 13% experienced physical assault, again a rise on the 10.4% who experienced assault in 2007.

Over a quarter of retailers (27%) experienced verbal abuse during the 12 month period and 11% were threatened with a weapon. On-in-five (18%) experienced intimidation or threats from customers over the period.

The frequency of attacks was also important with one third (33%) of retailers suffering violence more than five times over the year. Alcohol continues to be a real problem for retailers who have to contend with under-age customers attempting to buy it.

Retailers were asked what proportion of violent incidents would they consider to be alcohol related, either related to the sale of alcohol products or violence carried out by people under the influence of alcohol.

Age restricted products proved a problem in many cases for stores. Two-in-five retailers (42%) said the violence was “often” attributable to alcohol, 23% said it was “sometimes” the cause, 20% said it was “rarely” the cause and only 13% said it was never the cause of violence.

For tobacco, a quarter (25%) said it was “often” the cause and 23% “sometimes” with 27% saying it was “rarely" and 25% never the cause.

Retailers were also asked about violent customers and drugs. Half (50%) of retailers said drugs was “often” the cause of violence and 17% “sometimes” the cause.

Retailers do not work alone and their staff came in for some rough dealing at the hands of attackers. To try and assess the seriousness of the attacks, retailers were asked how serious the violence was.

One-in-10 (10%) required time off work as a result of violence, 3% needed hospital treatment and the same percentage required a visit to the doctor. Overall, a clear majority of 75% said they were “shaken but not hurt” as a result of the violence.

Independent Retail News editor John Kirwan said:- “The results of this survey show the problems retailers face on a daily basis with drink and drugs playing a key part.

More than a quarter of those retailers attacked over the past year have considered selling their business.”

A matter of real concern is whether the violence is getting worse or getting better. Three-in-five (63%) of retailers said “violence and anti-social” behaviour is worse that it was 12 months ago. When retailers were asked the same question in 2007, 60.4% said it was worse than in 2006. This impacts on wellbeing with half (53%) saying they suffer stress as a result of violence.

Retailers are going to the police in growing numbers. Four-in-five (80%) said they “always” went to the police, 8% said they “sometimes” called on the police and 3% said “they used to but no longer” called the police. Eight per cent said they never contacted the police.

Retailers described what happened when they called on the police. A quarter (23%) said they had a visit and there was follow-up action, which is much better than the case in 2007 when the figure was just 8.1%.  One-in-five (18%) said they had a visit but no follow up action, an improvement on the 12.6% in 2007. In 7% of cases charges were brought which ended in conviction and in 5% of cases charges were brought that did not end in convictions. For 10% of retailers, cases were ongoing.

Possibly as a result of the greater police contact, retailers appear happier than they were a year ago. A quarter (23%) said they rated police forces’ efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour and violent crime as “much better” over the past 12 months.

In 2007 when retailers were asked the same question, 7% though police efforts were much better. This time round, 27% thought police forces’ efforts were “better”, 39% thought they were the “same” and 11% “worse”.

To combat violence and crime, retailers are using their local crime and disorder reduction partnerships with almost half (45%) getting in touch with them over the past 12 months.


THE new Tesco Express store opening in Liverpool has provided a boost to the local economy by creating 13 new jobs.

Work is now nearly finished on the new Tesco Express store, which opens on Crosby Road North on Thursday 29 May 2008.

Tesco worked with their local Job Centre Plus in the recruitment process, which had great results and attracted many applications.

The new staff are now in the final stages of the Tesco training programme and Store manager Andy Wood is looking forward to working with his new team. Andy said:- “I am delighted by the response to our recruitment drive, we have recruited a great team of people and I cannot wait to start working with them.”

Andy continued:- “We are delighted to be opening a Tesco Express on Crosby Road North and look forward to playing an active role in the local community.”

The new Tesco Express will open from 6.30am until 11pm seven days a week.

The store will officially launch next week and make a £500 donation to Jospice who are coming along to open the new store. Further details of the official launch ceremony are currently being finalised and will be released shortly.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston thanks Liverpool for their tremendous support

THE Clipper fleet have embark on the final leg of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, taking them to New York, Nova Scotia, and Cork in Ireland before finishing in Liverpool on 5 July 2008 during the height of the city’s celebrations as European Capital of Culture 2008. With the announcement yesterday that Liverpool will be handing over to the Humber as home port venue for the biennial event, Clipper Ventures Chairman and legendary solo yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston praised the city for successfully hosting the last three editions of the race.

After hosting the last three Clipper Round the World Yacht Races, the world-renowned port of Liverpool will now hand over the baton to another UK region. Yesterday, during an event at Trinity House, London, Clipper Ventures announced that the next edition of the race, Clipper 09-10, will start and finish in the Humber.

Sir Robin said:- “I would like to commend Liverpool on its success in hosting the last three Clipper Races providing the fleet with spectacular send-offs and emotional homecoming celebrations.

The people of Liverpool have welcomed our international crews and visiting dignitaries from the other sponsoring cities with the genuine hospitality the city is famed for.

The Humberside region has seen the successful way in which Liverpool has hosted the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race gaining significant benefits over the last six years, and on the basis of this has signed up to host Clipper 09-10.”
Sir Robin added.

Councilllor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council and Deputy Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said:- "Liverpool has thoroughly enjoyed being host port for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Races.

Our relationship with Clipper Ventures has been hugely beneficial and memorable; not least in coinciding with arguably the most successful decade in living memory for the city.

The event itself also provided us with a great opportunity to reconnect with the River Mersey and we have achieved that through the hugely successful education programme in our schools and the quality maritime events programme which we have strengthened.

We wish Hull & Humber all the best in its role as the new host port and hope it gets as much out of the experience as Liverpool did."

The Clipper Race took up residence in Liverpool in 2002 to tie in with the city’s bid and subsequent celebrations of its status as European Capital of Culture. During this time the Clipper Race has generated significant economic benefits for the north west, in addition to extensive international media exposure as the Liverpool 08 yacht provides a floating billboard promoting Liverpool as European Capital of Culture 2008 around the world. The media coverage generated by the Liverpool 08 entry in Clipper 05-06 was valued at £5.8 million by independent sports marketing agency, Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), the highest return of all the ten international sponsors. The Clipper Race attracts thousands of international visitors to the city and SMS calculated that hosting the start and finish of Clipper 05-06 generated an economic benefit of £1.9 million for the north west region.

“Liverpool has fielded an entry in the last three races, and Liverpool 08 has promoted the city as the European Capital of Culture around the globe.

We hope to see another Liverpool entry in future races, as the team has always proved popular and the crew representing Liverpool have been excellent ambassadors for the city and its maritime heritage.” Sir Robin added.

The ten-strong fleet is scheduled to return to Liverpool on 5 July 2008 at the end of the 35,000-mile circumnavigation. The day’s celebrations will commence with fleet participating in the ‘Liverpool 08 Dash’ up the Mersey. The first of the Clipper yachts are expected to be off Albert Dock mid-morning.

“The ten teams can be certain that they will receive a spectacular welcome when they return to the River Mersey in just over a month’s time.

Few things can compare to the sight of the ten yachts sailing back in front of the Three Graces after 35,000 miles of tough racing.

You will see the crews standing tall and proud having completed something that so few people even dream they can achieve” Sir Robin added.

The Humber will be the fourth UK venue to host the start of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The first Clipper Race started in Plymouth in 1996 and 1998 before moving to Portsmouth for the start of the 2000 race, before moving to Liverpool.

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