Corner shopkeepers 'face wave of violence'

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The Independent Online
ROBBERIES or attempted robberies have taken place at one in four small shops in London in the past 12 months, according to a study published today, writes Adam Sage.

It concludes that corner shops suffer a 'frighteningly high' level of violence. Shopkeepers in London are worst affected, with 25 per cent of the 92 people interviewed having been threatened with a knife, gun or imitation gun in the past year, says the survey, for the independent Police Foundation. In the Midlands, this figure falls to 17 per cent.

In London, 32 per cent of Asian shopkeepers have been racially abused in the past 12 months, in the Midlands the figure is 37 per cent. There is widespread shoplifting, although little of it is reported to the police.

The authors, Malcolm Hibberd of the Police Foundation and Joanna Shapland of Sheffield University, say: 'The major effects of a robbery . . . do not lie just in physical injury or loss of cash. It can have long-lasting psychological effects on victims who may find it extremely difficult to continue to work in the same setting.'

Violent Crime in Small Shops; Police Foundation, 1 Glyn St, London SE11.