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News - 23 April 2005

Businesses must continue to report crime

A third of small businesses believe that it is not worth reporting crime. Businesses, according to a recent survey, have become disillusioned with the criminal justice system as they continually see criminals getting away with it.

More than half (58%) of Britain’s businesses have been the victim of crime in the last year. Over a third (36%) believe that reporting crime will achieve nothing and a quarter think the police would not be able to catch the criminals or achieve a successful prosecution. These are the findings of a survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

It is very important that people don’t stop reporting crime. The criminal may not be caught in the first instance but every piece of evidence against a known offender will be added to the log on that person and when they eventually are caught the weight of evidence will be more compelling if it has been systematically collected over a period of time.

In Brighton the City Centre Business Forum operates a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) scheme. Members of the scheme are given information (including photos) on known offenders and communicate with each other over a radio net. The scheme is supported by the NBIS system which logs and details information on  incidents occurring in the city that are reported by the BCRP members.

Shops and restaurants have a high visibility and are therefore right in the firing line for vandalism and burglary – two of the top three most frequent crimes. Many of the traders in the city centre have signed up to the scheme and have helped to bring anti-social behaviour orders and prosecutions that have effected a marked reduction in crime in the city centre.

This unfortunately has provoked criminals to seek out easier pickings on the edges of town. And so the scheme has been extended in recent years to Hove, London Road, St James’s Street, the beachfront and also to the nightclubs and bars. But there is still scope to include many more businesses.

The FSB survey indicated that some 20% of businesses thought the police simply were not interested and 20% also admitted to not reporting crimes in order to keep their insurance premiums from rising.

Businesses in Brighton & Hove can be assured that every piece of information reported to the BCRP will be logged and will be used to piece together a profile on known offenders. This information will be brought before a judge when the individual is eventually arrested.

Businesses must not give in to vandalism. If you have been the victim of crime and have not yet signed up to the BCRP please contact Dorothy O’Rourke on 01273 733393 or click on the Crime Reduction icon on the left hand side of this page to download a BCRP membership application form.

Read related items on:
Anti-social behaviour
Business Crime Reduction Partnership
Brighton & Hove Business Forum
Federation of Small Businesses

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