National Business Crime Week of Action Report
The week commencing 17th of October 2022, National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) launched a National Business Crime Week of Action. The NBCC aimed to raise the profile of business crime and understand its impact on business communities across the UK.
During this week of action, our leadership team decided to focus on businesses engagement. Multiple teams made of BCRPs officers, MPS officers, BTP officers, council enforcement officers, BID ambassadors, security managers, shopping centre managers, security leads and the Business Crime Hub visited over 200 businesses in 15 London’s town centres over 5 days of enhanced engagement.
Businesses received a range of crime prevention advice, with a particular focus on the most common triggers for violence at work.
ShopKind posters were handed out to be displayed in shop windows, promoting kindness among customers and also staff.
The feedback received was extremely positive, with lots of open and honest conversations taking place where businesses were happy to discuss their main issues which we will be making our priority.
Data and Analysis
As part of the engagement, we carried out a survey, collating 164 responses. We asked which types of crime affects them the most and the highest answer with 81% was theft. Lots of businesses are still recovering from the financial strain of the pandemic and the increased cost of living has already affected the level of theft experienced by retailers. Our team are starting to initiate conversations on how we can support retailers during this period.
Linked to theft is the second most reported crime: abuse towards staff while at work (45%). With deeper analysis during discussions with store managers and security officers during the day, it became known that verbal and physical abuse is a daily occurrence. Staff reported that abuse and violence are very often triggered by challenging shoplifting offences, making it even harder for retailers to prevent crime and keep staff safe.
BCRPs are concentrating on identifying the most prolific offenders, sharing intelligence with the local communities and preparing case files for the police to help tackle these crimes and reduce violence in workplaces.
Multiple businesses reported being negatively impacted by youth ASB. Shopping centre businesses had the stronger voice in raising concerns around the youth population and the escalation of violence and crime committed by young people. Multiagency work is required to locally address these issues, aiming not to criminalise young people but to open a dialogue between the young population and the retailers.
Once we have discovered their priorities, we asked businesses if they feel supported by their BCRP when an incident occurs, and we were pleased to see 87% of them responded positively to the question. They understand the work of the local partnerships and find it beneficial; they understand better how the system works and why there is a need for BCRPs to fill the gap between the police and the community.
Finally, businesses were asked if they feel that business crime is dealt with appropriately, and businesses responded yes in 55% of cases. By constantly visiting our members and updating them on what’s going on in the town centre, they feel more part of a community, they report crime more confidently and allow BCRPs to support the police work in terms of business crime.
Now that we know what matters the most to businesses, we can shape BCRPs’ work around them, demonstrating to our members that we listen and act upon their priorities.
This was a great week of networking for Safer Business Network officers, and we realise how beneficial these engagement days are to not just businesses but also between us and our partners, as it allows us to discuss issues and build stronger relationships with one another. We are planning to hold these engagement days more regularly than just once a year so that we can help tackle your issues faster and efficiently.