Essex is leading the way when it comes to beating business crime.

Essex is leading the way when it comes to beating business crime.

The county now has a new Crime Against Business Strategy – designed by business for business.

The document was developed by the Business Crime Strategic Board. The Board, chaired by Essex Chambers of Commerce, consists of members from key businesses across the county and includes Essex Police and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. The strategy is the first of its kind in the country as it has been driven by the needs of businesses and developed in partnership with them.

The strategy was officially launched today (Friday, February 21st) at an Essex Chambers of Commerce Business Networking Event taking place at the Cloudfm Essex County Cricket Ground in Chelmsford.

Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of the Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are lucky in Essex to have so many innovative, entrepreneurial businesses, so it is no surprise to me that when it comes to fighting business crime, our county is leading the way.

“As we have brought businesses and policing closer together, we have really seen the difference that closer collaboration can bring. More and more businesses are supporting Essex Police by either releasing their staff to help as Special Constables, sharing information or taking up prevention advice. At the same time, the investment Essex Police is making in its new Business Crime Team is a clear commitment to the business community in Essex.”

The Business Crime Strategic Board was itself a national first when it was established in July 2018 and has worked closely with businesses, policing and community safety partners to develop the strategy and provide advice and guidance to helping businesses and policing to work effectively together.

Its delivery will be supported by Essex Police’s new Business Crime Team, which will include a Sergeant, two Police Constables and an analyst. The strategy’s vision is to create safe and secure communities where local businesses can thrive. Its aims, to reduce crime against businesses, will be achieved by encouraging businesses to report crime, improving crime prevention advice and supporting businesses to help themselves, to increase the confidence of the business community and strengthen partnership working.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Businesses are an important part of our day to day life, bringing wealth and vibrancy to our communities. We want to create safe and secure environments where local businesses can thrive. Businesses have told us what support they need to do this, and we have responded. Only by working together can we drive down crime, making our communities a safer place to work, visit and thrive for us all.”

The Chief Constable of Essex Police, Ben Julian Harrington, said: “We have been investing heavily in local, community policing over the last two years. Last summer we launched Town Centre Teams across Essex and expanded our Rural Engagement Team to build on our dedicated support for both local businesses and communities.

“The dedicated Business Crime team will continue this support by working closely with business owners, partners and customers to bring together intelligence from across the county to provide practical advice and catch the criminals who are targeting and affecting local businesses.

Business crime can take many forms, from cybercrime to fraud to shoplifting. By working together, we can really make an impact and reduce and prevent crime that is harming our communities. “Through the prevention of crime, Essex Police is helping business to thrive and make our county a safer place for everyone.”

Around 22,000 crimes take place against businesses each year which is roughly 20 per cent of all recorded crime. The largest proportion of crime happens in retail businesses with licensed premises and restaurants the next most common. Businesses who invest in crime prevention advice can successfully reduce their risk of being affected by crime while those businesses who choose not to follow crime prevention advice find themselves disproportionately affected.

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