Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Donna Jones has launched her ‘Safer Communities Fund’, providing grants to reduce offending and support victims for Hampshire and Isle of Wight residents.
The Commissioner has pledged to secure services that empower partners and potential partners through regular opportunities to bid for grant funding for projects and contracts.
Over the last few months, NFRN representatives have been meeting with PCCs across the UK to discuss retail crime and the action currently being taken to prevent our members falling victim to thefts and assaults in their stores. The NFRN has repeatedly requested more funding be available to independent retailers – particularly to help fund security systems like CCTV and shutters, so the NFRN gladly welcomes Hampshire PCC’s funding announcement.
Within the Hampshire and Isle of Wight policing area, business crime accounted for over 11 per cent of all crimes recorded by Hampshire Constabulary in 2020 / 21 (16,090 crimes – 11.5 per cent).
Business crime typically accounts for 15 per cent of all crimes recorded by Hampshire Constabulary, the decrease in the 2020/21 period can be put down to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The most prominent types of business crime were shoplifting, criminal damage, other theft offences (e.g., theft by employees) and burglary from businesses. Incidents of violence and abuse against staff was reported to be 455 incidents per day, an increase from 422 in the previous year. Whilst the above figures only relate to retail businesses, the impact of business crime is rising across all business sectors.
The Commissioner is inviting organisations to explain how they can work with the Commissioner’s team and achieve the priorities to make communities safer by looking for new and exciting approaches to tackling business crime.
The common perception is that business crime is a victimless crime that does not affect individuals personally, as businesses are insured. This is an incorrect perception, the effects of business crime can be profound for victims, witnesses, and communities where businesses are based.
The commissioner’s office will be accepting applications to the Safer Communities Fund 2022-2025 from Wednesday 1 December until Friday 14 January, ensuring all applications are sent by 1pm. For more information and an application form, see www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-together/funding/apply-for-funding