Lorne Green launches new business crime strategy at Royal Norfolk Show 2018
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Businesses from across the county were asked to have their say on a new crackdown on business crime in Norfolk launched at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Police and crime commissioner Lorne Green l presented the draft Business Crime Strategy at the Federation of Small Businesses marquee on the first day of the show, outlining how the police force wanted to support firms in tackling offences from shoplifting to cyber crime.
However, he denied that the strategy was an attempt to rebuild relationships with businesses in the wake of the constabulary's much-criticised response to disturbances in Cromer last August.
Police apologised for the way they handled a weekend in which 37 crimes were reported after a group of travellers arrived in the seaside town.
Workers describe the moment a crowd of 40 people 'ambushed' their restaurant in CromerMr Green said that, having lived above and worked in a convenience store when he was younger, he understood the impact of crime first hand.
'Norfolk is a county of enterprise and opportunity, where businesses of all sizes are helping to feed the country, making scientific breakthroughs, providing wonderful and memorable holidays and serving our needs for goods and services,' he said.
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'For that to continue, businesses need to prosper and to prosper, they need protecting from crime.'
He said the nature of crime was changing, including international cybercrime, and asked for businesses to help set police priorities in 'an ongoing dialogue'.
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But the new strategy would be a 'refocusing of resources', rather than an indication of new resources being made available.
A new forum called Begin – Business Engagement Group in Norfolk – will allow firms to discuss their concerns and flag them to police.
The focus of the Business Crime Strategy would be preventing and cutting crime and anti-social behaviour, improving engagement, education and victim care, making the best use of technology and increasing trust and confidence of businesses in policing, said Mr Green.
The PCC will work with groups such as the FSB, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, and the King's Lynn Business Improvement District.
David Howell, area lead for the FSB in East Anglia, said: 'We want members to have their say and raise issues with us, so that we can link that back to this strategy.'
Victims of crime
Samantha Quinton opened her new wellbeing clinic in the Norwich Lanes last October – but within months had found herself a victim of crime.
Burglars raided The Lanes Clinic in St John's Alley near the Maddermarket Theatre on the late May bank holiday weekend, making off with belongings worth £3,000.
'They took our radios, our hoover, iPad, even our tea and coffee,' she said.
'When you are setting up a new business you are so naive. It's a residential area, and around the Maddermarket and Pottergate area a lot of businesses have been targeted in their first six months.'
Mrs Quinton told PCC Lorne Green that having access to that shared information – or a warning from officers – may have made her more vigilant.
The business has since put in CCTV and signs warning that no cash is left on the premises overnight, said Mrs Quinton.
However, she praised neighbouring businesses for the way they had rallied round when the clinic was graffitied in its first month - including hardware shop Thorns donating anti-graffiti paint.