Government cracks down on crime

A crime reduction strategy developed by the Home Office is targeting crimes against small businesses, particularly retailers, who are worried about break-ins, robberies and violence.

This concern is not surprising, considering that more than three-quarters of retailers were affected by some form of crime in 2002. Customer crime affected 43%, burglaries hit 16%, while almost a quarter (23%) were victims of violent attacks.

These figures were in fact slightly down from the previous survey in 1994, apart from those concerning violent crime, which has risen by 3%.

However, the Home Office plans to reduce these worrying statistics still further through the establishment of regional crime advisers in England and Wales who will spread awareness of anti-crime businesses partnerships and initiatives in their local area.

In addition, the advisers will also implement crime reduction measures and offer support and advice to individual businesses on how to deal with crime and protect themselves against it.

Hazel Blears, Minister of State for Crime Reduction, commented, “The regional business crime advisers will be a key element in the strategy because they will help to build better, more effective links between businesses, police, local authorities and Government.”

While the Government is looking to help prevent crime, Blears points out that businesses must also learn to help themselves.

“How a business is run, the thought given to the layout of a shop, the security systems in place for online transactions, good building security, proper reference checking of potential staff … all have their part to play in self protection.”

For more information, visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk or see our earlier story for tips on crime prevention.

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