More than 11,000 retail staff have been confirmed as victims of this month’s riots, shock new figures have shown.

Shops lost over 7,500 hours of trading, according to a report handed to police by the British Retail Consortium. The document will go towards impact assessments being used in the trials of alleged offenders.

The BRC said the true figure would most likely be even higher and urged the courts to continue to pass tough sentences on those caught. It said some retailers had warned they might never return to the industry.

“The thousands of people who work in shops have been the forgotten victims of the riots,” said BRC director of business Tom Ironside.

“The scenes of violence and looting that broke out two weeks ago were frightening even for the majority of us watching them on television or reading about them in the papers. [But] to have been in a shop as it was attacked or set on fire must have been terrifying.

“Strong punishments are appropriate for the perpetrators of this violence to reassure the three million people who work in the retail sector that their safety is taken seriously. It’s sad to hear of retail staff reconsidering their career choice because they feel vulnerable at work.”