Staff safety is vital

?We are based in an area where there are a lot of schoolchildren but while we get the odd bit of shoplifting crime isn't too much of a problem for us. Our store is fully equipped to deal with any issues, though. We have CCTV and carry a sign on the front door saying that shoplifters will be prosecuted and the counter has also been designed to make it harder for someone to attack our staff. Crime is definitely a concern and we always do as much as we can to make our staff as safe as possible. The smoking age increase is going to cause problems, I believe, so we have to make clear from the beginning that we will not serve cigarettes to anyone without ID.

We must be vigilant

Yorkshire independent retailer ?

We are a small, community-based store and are lucky because we don't suffer from a lot of crime. We have a policy of only two schoolchildren in the shop at a time, which means my staff can have a good view of the store, but it is also to do with the fact that other shoppers don't like to be crowded out by lots of children, so we don't do it just for crime reasons. Crime is always a big consideration for us, though, and we can't get complacent because we know shop staff are always under the possible threat from people who are refused alcohol or cigarettes. All our staff are trained on how to react to crime but there is not too much you can do if someone wants to attack you.

CCTV and shutters

Birmingham retailer

?We have been victims of crime in the past, with people stealing stuff and threatening staff, so you have to know how to deal with it. I think there could be more help from the police and the council to tackle crime but the problem is if they move it away from one area it just goes somewhere else instead. We have CCTV in our store and metal shutters for the windows at night, as do many of the shops around here - it is a good safety precaution. I think the cigarette laws are going to cause trouble for us because we won't just be challenging 16-year-olds but older people who have been used to getting served cigarettes. They are not going to like being turned down. It is early days, though, and as the law becomes established the situation will eventually calm down, especially with the smoking ban in force as well.