Launched today (October 19) at the the Association of Convenience Stores Crime Prevention Forum and endorsed by Home Office Minister James Brokenshire MP, the fund will give rewards of up to £50,000 for information that leads to a conviction in cases of serious violent crime in local shops.
The fund will be administered by Crimestoppers and has been underwritten by the members of ACS.
USDAW, the shop workers trade union, has said its members experience a violent incident at least once every minute.
An ACS spokesman said: “The initiative is part of a wider commitment to raise community awareness about the violence experienced by those working in local shops and encourage greater reporting of information about retail crime.”
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP said: “Violence against shopkeepers is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
“Retail staff deserve to work in a safe, secure environment. We recognise the cost and disruption that crime causes business and the communities they serve and we know that retailers are already doing their bit to help reduce crime.
“That is why I am very pleased to participate in the launch of this initiative which is a great example of an industry pulling together in partnership with the police and the voluntary sector to make a difference.”
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Serious violent incidents against retailers must never go unpunished. We are proud to launch this reward scheme. We hope that it will never have to be used, but if it does the industry will stand together and help to bring the perpetrator to justice.”