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ACS Blog

How to Reduce Crime in Local Shops and Communities

We will hear a lot about crime in this election campaign. This week I gave a keynote address at an event on shop theft and retail crime, attended by the police, some parliamentary candidates and lots of retailers. My main reflection that I want to feed into the rest of the election campaign is that there are two types of conversation that happen when we talk about crime - we need to decide which one we want to centre in this campaign.

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The 2024 General Election and You

… and they’re off. The election campaign is underway and the candidates are seeking your vote. Just as they vie for your attention, so groups like ACS try to engage with the MPs, ministers and leaders of the future, explaining why our sector matters and what they can do to help us.

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Government 'Acting Decisively' on Vapes? It's Not that Simple...

It's frustrating that policy-makers still seem to think that banning something will mean it ceases to exist. The Scottish Government has published the statutory instrument it will use to ban disposable vapes and by the time you read this Westminster may well have followed suit, with both jurisdictions deliberately using the parliamentary mechanism that will attract the least debate and attention. 

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How Do We Stop the Cycle of Reoffending?

Over the past couple of months we’ve seen a discernible shift in the tone of debate about shop theft and retail crime. Our own crime report, and the Co-op’s research on crime in their business, has provided a powerful evidence base. We’re seeing better engagement from Police & Crime Commissioners and local forces, and crucially we’re now hearing Ministers talking about the seriousness of shop theft and the need for penalties to be consistent with this. There’s also been a lot more interest in the media.

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Nine Reflections on DRS Implementation So Far

The dust has settled a little on the postponement of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme until October 2025, and the collapse of Circularity Scotland. Our Government Relations Director Ed Woodall has been at the heart of discussions on DRS in Scotland and across the UK, so I’m passing this blog to him to reflect on what we’ve learned and where we go next…

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How Do We Get Vaping Regulations Right?

In all my time in this industry, I can’t remember a category that’s sprung onto the market with the scale and impact of so-called “disposable” vapes. I’ll talk below about why I think this is the wrong term to use, but regardless of that, this has become a huge part of many convenience store businesses. This brings with it some challenging regulatory issues that we’re now facing into. Whether through the government’s tobacco strategy or through separate legislation, we’re highly likely to see more regulation of these products within the next few years.

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