Business crime matters – that’s the message from Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis.
Mr Ellis is pointing out the real cost to companies in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and driving change to end the perception that such offences are “victimless” crimes.
The total price tag of burglary, shoplifting, robbery, criminal damage, theft and other offences against businesses in Staffordshire is estimated at over £7,300 per hour. Fraud alone costs companies £9.1 billion nationally a year.
And, worryingly, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, over a third (39 per cent) of businesses do not report crime to police.
A new strategy to tackle business crime has been commissioned by Mr Ellis, spearheaded by his deputy Sue Arnold, herself a former president of Southern Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.
The Commissioner said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of local communities across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
“Companies can feel that crime against them is seen as victimless and that it is hard to get help if needed. I’m determined that businesses who are victims of crime will not be forgotten.
“I’m calling for a new approach that treats business crime more seriously, where company owners get the support they need.
“It’s about giving businesses tailored, real-time crime prevention advice to reduce the chance of them becoming victims.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold, who admitted fraud was forcing some companies to go under, added: “One thing’s for certain – we’re determined to make crime a business of the past through a brave new world of computer innovation, communication and customer consideration.”
“Who supports them when they going through this trauma? Businesses have different needs to individuals who, in the main, are treated well by the authorities in the aftermath of a crime.
“With the introduction of our pilot scheme, we are determined that firms’ owners and directors should be better served when they find themselves victims of business crime.”
Tackling business crime is an important part of the PCC’s Safer, Fairer United Communities strategy. Almost 70 businesses were consulted about the plan in the summer before it was launched in October.
Business crime alerts are provided by Staffordshire Smart Alert
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