effective ways to combat business crime was announced today by Home
Office minister, John Denham.
burglary, robbery or fraud, it's companies and their customers that
end up footing the bill. That's why businesses of all kinds, from
construction and finance, down to the local corner shop, are being
asked for their views on working with government and others to tackle
The 12-week consultation, which starts today, marks an important step
towards reducing crime that affects the business community. Estimates
show that business crime costs the UK economy up to£19bn a year.
Mr Denham, minister for crime reduction, said:
'We all know that crime is bad for business. All crimes which affect
society in general affect business too, and the knock-on effects of
higher crime rates and unemployment can be damaging for entire
'Businesses are increasingly aware of the major role they have to
play in reducing crime and opportunities for crime, and some very
effective partnerships have already been set up to tackle specific
'Projects like the Chipping of Goods initiative, encouraging
crime-resistant product design, or working with mobile phone
companies to prevent the use of stolen phones, all show we are
committed to dealing with problems affecting a variety of different
'I believe that we can build on these sorts of partnerships to all
our benefit. By going out to industry and giving them the opportunity
to air their views, I hope to get a clear picture of how we can
ensure that a partnership approach to crime reduction becomes normal
'We will consider all responses very carefully and if there is
sufficient interest there is a strong possibility that we will
establish a business crime unit aimed at developing a centre of
excellence within the Home Office to further develop initiatives to
reduce business related crime.'
Details of the consultation can be found online at
www.homeoffice.gov.uk and at www.crimereduction.gov.uk
Representatives from businesses are urged to start by discussing
their views with their trade associations.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce,
'Businesses are twice as likely to become a victim of crime as an
individual. The BCC have long campaigned for crimes against business
to be counted.
'We are therefore pleased to welcome the Home Office Business Crime
Strategy Consultation. With business and government committed to
working together to reduce crime, we are confident that business will
flourish and communities prosper.'
Mr Denham said
'In government's view a partnership approach is key to sharing good
practice and targeting problem areas. I am confident we can work with
the private sector to crack crime. But for a partnership to work, it
must be set up in a way that meets the needs of its members. We look
forward to a positive response from business on the best ways for us
to work together.'
The Home Office aims to underline its commitment to tackling crime
and reducing opportunities for crime through effective partnership
working with business. Current initiatives include:
- the dedicated cheque and plastic card fraud unit
- the West Midland retail crime initiative
- vehicle finance fraud with the Finance and Leasing Association.
1. The British Chamber of Commerce estimated that crime costs the UK
economy almost£19b a year as part of their 'Securing Enterprise'
campaign, December 2001.
2. Businesses interested in participating in the Home Office
consultation can find more information at www.crimereduction.gov.uk
or from www.homeoffice.gov.uk
3. Businesses interested in becoming more involved in crime reduction
at a regional level can contact their local crime and disorder
reduction partnerships through the regional government office.