Business Crime Reduction Partnerships conference brings together government, police and industry bodies to discuss crime prevention measures.
The need for close collaboration between businesses, police, trade bodies and government to the reduction of crime was in the spotlight at a one-day conference hosted by City, University of London and the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC).
With cost of living difficulties mounting amid a backdrop of scrutiny of police forces, organised retail crime and violence are on the rise. Estimates from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) claim there were as many as eight million ‘theft incidents’ in British shops and businesses last year, costing the sector nearly £1 billion.
The event was co-organised by Professor Emmeline Taylor, Professor of Criminology and Dr Giulia Faggio, Reader in Economics at City. It brought together an audience of practitioners and industry professionals. Speakers included officials from Sussex and Surrey Police forces, the Home Office, retailers, trade boards, business crime reduction partnerships (BCRPs) and business improvement districts (BIDs), who discussed the work being done to operationalise the reduction of crime, as well as the challenges they face and importance of working closely together to share intelligence and coordinate campaigns.
The agenda involved case study presentations to display best practice and learning opportunities, as well as an expert panel discussion addressing national standards and accreditation. Networking sessions also gave delegates the opportunity to connect and share experiences.
Professor Taylor said events like these were vital in coordinating approaches to tackling crime.
“Business crime has been on an upward curve in the last decade,” she said.
“Not only is the volume of theft increasing in shops but also the seriousness of criminal incidents that target businesses. Offenders are becoming more organised and more willing to use violent tactics against employees.
“Last year, after much campaigning, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act increased the penalty for those who assault public service workers including retail staff but more needs to be done by the police, government, and industry to tackle crime.
"This partnership conference brought together many important players in managing the reduction of crime, and provided a valuable opportunity to share ideas and initiatives aimed at urgently tackling this issue.
“We must work together in partnership to create a safer environment.”
Speakers alongside Professor Taylor, who chaired and introduced the event, included:
- Katy Bourne OBE, Police Crime Commissioner for Sussex
- Anna Dawson, Home Office
- Sophie Jordan, National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP)
- Sarah Bird, National Business Crime Solutions (NBCS)
- Adam Ratcliffe, Safer Business Network
- Francesca Inman, Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID)
- Jenny Alleyne, Co-op
- Helen Dickinson OBE, British Retail Consortium
- Jo Grimshaw, Head of ASB and Partnerships, Surrey Police
- DI Jordan Ford, Head of National Counter Terrorism Security Office’s (NaCTSO) Business Engagement Unit.