FSB members held a meeting with local Neighbourhood Policing Area Commander in Blaby, to discuss concerns around ongoing business crime in the area. The FSB Regional Chair Les Phillimore visited businesses on a walk around of Blaby high street with the local MP, and was concerned to hear the same issues coming up in virtually every shop around shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.
Les said: “Business crime is a serious and under-recognised problem by the authorities for our members who often feel that their complaints are falling on deaf ears as they aren’t being treated as serious enough.”
The FSB recently produced a Business Crime manifesto which highlighted that 48% of small businesses have been a victim of non-cyber crime, but around 24% do not report it to the Police - the main reasons for that being lack of belief by the shopkeeper that anything will improve, a lack of trust of the police and lack of time.
The same survey found that the average cost of offline crimes to FSB members is nearly £5,898, with one third of respondents citing theft as a problem.
The FSBs manifesto asked for perennial problems of theft and antisocial behaviour to be focussed on, not just more sophisticated crimes around cyber and fraud.
During the meeting in Blaby businesses were able to have a frank and honest discussion about what can and cannot be done, given the priorities and capacity of the local Police force, it was highlighted that local high streets and independent, small businesses are the lifeblood of a local community and contribute greatly towards the atmosphere and safety of an area and they should be supported as much as possible.
Following the meeting, Insp. Dan Eveleigh said
“It was really useful for me to hear the views, concerns and needs of this community of business-people. At the meeting I learnt that some instances needed further assessment and action, which we will now do. Our commitment to engage and communicate well is there and we look forward to further work with the FSB locally.”
Les Phillimore added “I would like to thank Insp. Eveleigh for coming to meet our local businesses and listen to their experiences and concerns. It’s important to see the person behind the business and hear how crime affects them and their family as important members of our local community.”