Here, Catherine Bowen explains why the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) couldn’t agree more with the recent comments made by Georgina Barnard (TP Crime Reduction and Partnerships for the Metropolitan Police Service) on the importance of sharing business data to help create a unified, collaborative approach towards fight business crime across the country.
Speaking at a recent retail crime conference, Georgina Barnard highlighted the growing importance of businesses taking a stand together to take preventative action in fighting criminal incidents affecting the UK’s business community. We’re delighted to see such a positive move by law enforcement to recognise how businesses are trying to work more collaboratively.
Georgina’s comments follow a long period of stretched resources and pressure to cut budgets, leaving many police forces focusing their efforts on the most serious incidents of crime. As a result, many businesses have been reluctant to report offences to the police due to a lack of confidence in the police service’s ability to progress an investigation. Now more than ever is a time when we can change this.
For example, using closer collaboration and an evidence-based approach, the National Business Crime Solution has supported a number of businesses to reduce their exposure to business crime while also providing a safer environment for customers and staff.
In fact, the latest half-year results reveal the initiative has helped to cut crimes costing over £650,000 a month. As new businesses sign up, the potential for savings could run into millions.
In addition, by working with law enforcement officials we can not only ensure cross-border serious and organised criminals are pursued but, by working with police analysts, we can also advise businesses on criminal trends and any particular hot spots for increased illicit activities.
That’s not to say the police haven’t been doing a good job, but until we collaborate across the whole country we’ll never have a full or detailed enough picture of the state of business crime in the UK to make a real difference.
In order to continue providing this service it’s up to the UK’s business community who are at the heart of this not-for-profit initiative. Unfortunately, the reality is that police today do not have enough resources or time to put these cases together.
However we choose to monitor and report crime there will undoubtedly be challenges ahead, but with closer collaboration between UK businesses and law enforcement we can effectively build a profile of business crime in the UK.
Catherine Bowen is policy and stakeholder director at the National Business Crime Solution