The 2021 Commercial Victimisation Survey publication was issued yesterday and is a stark reminder that businesses are experiencing high volumes of crime including theft, assaults, threats and robbery, said Sussex PCC and APCC Lead on Business Crime Katy Bourne.
"Despite the mixed responses from the 2,284 interviews regarding whether the level of violence and assaults had increased or decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is saddening to see that 38% of businesses in the wholesale and retail sectors in England and Wales are victims of crime, with some businesses experiencing crimes like theft more than once a day.
Crimes on businesses are not victimless: along with the financial losses businesses face, almost 9 in 10 staff said they have experienced verbal abuse and 1 in 10 have reported crime-related injuries. They clearly have a detrimental impact on staff who should feel safe at work. They also have a knock-on effect to residents and customers who may be deterred from shopping, enjoying being out in their local communities and supporting retailers.
The Survey was issued on the same day I attended both the National Retail Crime Steering Group and chaired the APCC Business Crime Portfolio and the findings show why it's so important that PCCs and police forces make business crime a key priority.
It is vital that we continue to work alongside businesses to tackle the root causes of these crimes, identify both prolific offenders as well as those who commit low-value crime and ensure they are dealt with through necessary means whether that be prosecution, cautions or offender-paid awareness courses that educate individuals about the impact of their crimes.
I was encouraged to hear some of the innovative and targeted approaches that forces and their PCCs are adopting including the development of effective partnerships with local businesses, schemes to divert potential offenders, efforts to tackle re-offending and ways to provide staff with the tools and confidence they need to report and recover from crime.