The Association of Convenience Stores is developing a training package to help staff deal with the rise in violent crime against convenience stores. The programme is being designed as part of the ACS' Lifelong Learning scheme in conjunction with Belmont House UK. Belmont House marketing director Maddie Comrie said: "The last ACS Retail Crime Forum, held in January 2002, unanimously urged the Lifelong Learning Team to develop training solutions to help the industry." The team is now working with security departments at Bells, Jacksons, Spar and T&S Stores to identify training gaps. ACS spokesman James Lowman said: "Most of what we've done so far has been work with the government. This is giving retailers a tool to inform staff about best practice. "Staff are often at the sharp end of crime. They need the tools and expertise to deal with situations." Comrie added that the programme could include modules on risk assessment, how to diffuse dangerous situations and procedures for coping with the aftermath of an incident. The first courses will be available to staff from May. The initiative adds to the Sound Advice crime prevention kits designed by the ACS, which included training videos. {{PEOPLE MOVES }}