Sir, Chief Inspector Robert Ryan is right, the human cost of retail crime is high ('Retailers owe it to staff to help stop violence', The Grocer, 22 January). But too often retail crime gets a lower policing priority than other offences because many crimes aren't reported.

The government is aiming for more local control of local policing priorities. For retail crime to have its rightful place among those priorities, official figures must reflect its true extent.

That requires retailers to report incidents. But politicians, the courts and the police must give them the confidence that the time and effort involved will achieve a worthwhile result.

Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium