The Association of Convenience Stores has won a £75,000 government grant to help train independent retailers to combat crime in the sector.
The money will be spent on organising nearly 30 seminars across the UK on behalf of the Home Office.
The seminars will include training in how to protect store staff from crime, and how businesses can be made more secure among other subjects.
The sessions will target independent store managers, but will be open to security managers overseeing convenience store formats of major multiples.
Training will be geared towards food store staff, but non-food retailers can also sign up. Those attending will be equipped with a training pack and the Home Office says they should be able to convey the lessons learned to their employees. Meetings begin in Stoke-on-Trent on December 17 and run until March 26, with the association taking bookings from this week. The ACS’s existing training partner Belmont House will design the training package while David Williams, former general manager for loss prevention at United Norwest, now part of United Co-op, will act as a consultant.
ACS chief executive David Rae said: “Crime is the number one issue that faces small stores and this government initiative aims to provide lasting support for this important sector of the retail market.”
The funding comes from government’s £15m budget for its Security for Small Retailers scheme. Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: “This scheme will benefit thousands of people on the ground by reducing crime and making their work safer.”
Rod Addy