A Scottish Grocers' Federation survey predicts that 41% of Scottish independent stores will face threats of violence from criminals this year.
Figures generated from the first SGF quarterly survey of members suggest the small store sector in Scotland will lose £4.5m over the year as the overall crime rate escalates.
Shop theft alone will cost Scottish independent retailers more than £2m. The SGF forecasts at least 800 assaults on independent retailers and their staff in Scotland by the end of 2002.
And it says there will be 5,000 threats of physical violence overall against small Scottish retailers during the year. SGF chief executive Scot Landsburgh said: "We hope these figures, which are conservative, will galvanise the Scottish Executive." to reduce this burden on our local shops."

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