Home Affairs Select Committee Slams Out-of-Court Disposals

The Home Affairs select committee have criticised police use of out-of-court disposals, stating they are used inappropriately in up to 30% of cases.

In a report published today, the committee raised concerns that persistent and serious offences were being dealt with through out-of-court disposals when they ought to have been prosecuted at court. ACS research has shown that 1 in 4 shop thieves are repeat offenders, contributing to a £35m annual loss to the sector.

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Lords Committee Fails to Address Duty Fraud in EU Alcohol Strategy Report

The House of Lords European Union Committee have failed to acknowledge action against duty fraud in their recommendations on the future of the EU Alcohol Strategy.

In the report, the Committee acknowledges that alcohol duty fraud costs the Exchequer £1.3bn annually, but falls short of making any specific recommendations to tackle the problem.

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Liberal Democrats Would Extend 5p Single-Use Bag Charge

Nick Clegg, head of the Liberal Democrat party, has pledged that his party would extend a planned 5p charge levied on plastic bags to include all single-use bags in order to help the environment.

The plan is part of a proposed Nature Bill for the next parliament and aims to take another 3.5bn plastic bags and 328m papers bags out of circulation.

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Convenience Retailers Winning Battle Against Shop Thieves

Convenience stores are fighting back against shop thieves by investing millions in crime prevention measures in their shops.

Over the last three years, the percentage of retailers who have been victims of shop theft has fallen from 91% in 2012 to 74% in 2014. The cost of shop theft to the convenience sector has also dropped significantly over the last year from £44m to £35m a year.

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Policy Exchange Report Claims Shop Theft Has Been 'Decriminalised'

A report released today by the influential think tank Policy Exchange has suggested that shop theft has been 'decriminalised' because of a weak response from courts and police.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "Shop theft is one of the biggest operational challenges retailers face and it's frustrating when we see repeat offenders getting away with fines. The only way to tackle shop theft effectively is by encouraging police and retailers to work closely together and prevent reoffending with tougher sanctions for repeat shop thieves."

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ACS Calls for More Frequent Revaluations of Business Rates

ACS has called for a three year revaluation period and more transparency from the Valuation Office Agency in a bid to make the current business rates system fairer.

In a recent submission to government, ACS supports more frequent revaluations, which would make changes to business rate bills less burdensome for local shops. Businesses are currently revalued once every five years.

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