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Counselling and advice offered to stores after riots

Retail associations and insurance specialists have ramped up efforts to support British retailers this week, following widespread rioting.

The Retail Trust charity set up a 24-hour hotline offering retailers counselling and practical advice.

Harris Balcombe, an insurance claims recovery firm that represents several national retailers, said it would offer free advice. “We offer free consultations without obligation to retailers anyway, but would be open to any retailers phoning for advice,” said partner Paul Lawrence.

He gave the following advice to retailers: “Generally most claims will be covered by the Riot Act. Businesses will need to contact brokers as soon as possible and make a claim within 14 days for it to be valid. To do this, they need photographic records, an adequate quantity of stock loss, an official police crime record, and also quotes assessing the cost of damage repair.”

He added that uninsured retailers, or those with high excess levels, could still make an insurance claim against the local police force.

The Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) also issued advice for retailers in the event of further rioting, which included the following tips:

l Identify any areas that are vulnerable and remove loose objects that could be used as missiles; l Ensure your CCTV system is fully operational; l Consider removing high-value goods from windows overnight; l Keep as little cash as possible in the building overnight; l Landlords must ensure residents living above commercial premises are aware of risks and ensure that all fire alarms, smoke alarms and fire escapes are fully functional.

To contact Retail Trust call 0808 801 0808 or visit www.retailtrust.org.uk. For information on claims go to www.harrisbalcombe.com.

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