Small firms demand police action on business crime

FOLLOWING last week s report from Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime of a new breed of previously honest shoplifter , small firms have called on the police to prove their commitment to combat recessionary crime . The Federation of Small Businesses s

FOLLOWING last week's report from Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime of a 'new breed of previously honest shoplifter', small firms have called on the police to prove their commitment to combat 'recessionary crime'.

The Federation of Small Businesses says a growing number of businesses have reported an increase in crime in the last 12 months, with 64 per cent saying they have been the victim of a crime - up seven per cent from 2006.

Figures from AXA, which insures many small and medium-sized businesses, show that for the second consecutive half-year (to end 2008), year-on-year numbers of crimes against businesses have increased by around 10 per cent, with a marked increase in what could be categorised as 'recessionary' crime, or crime that occurs more frequently during an economic downturn such as burglary, staff intimidation, arson and assault.

The FSB is urging police forces to pay attention to these figures and listen to the concerns of small businesses on their patch. In a new campaign to raise awareness and improve best practice among police officers, the FSB will be issuing a 'Listening to the Business Beat' award to the forces around the country that can demonstrate they are listening to the small firms based on their patch.


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FSB Huntingdonshire chairman Malcolm Lyons said: "All the reports show that crimes against business are rising during the recession. The FSB is calling on the police to ensure they include businesses on their beat in their response to these crimes, and demonstrate that they take crimes against this important part of the community seriously. Small businesses need to know that the police are listening to the businesses on their beat, and that they will fight crime effectively with the information they are given."

ACC Allyn Thomas, Association of Chief Police Officers lead for crimes against business, responded: "Successful businesses lie at the heart of safe and prosperous communities across the UK. Police forces need to understand the nature and scale of the crime that affects public and business communities, and set priorities and allocate resources on that basis.

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"I am sure police forces would welcome the opportunity to hear the concerns of the business community, and we are developing proposals to take this forward with the Home Office and the Association of Police Authorities in the autumn.

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