There was a recent crime targetting a business in Thistleton.
Crime against business reduces employment, cuts the local economy and damages quality of life. Around 20% of all crime has business as a victim – with retail being the biggest victim. The majority of business criminals target a minority of businesses which are vulnerable to opportunistic crime.
I would like to see our police:
- Increase patrols of business areas, especially retail streets to deter criminals and reduce the fear of crime;
- Work with councils and property owners to design out crime;
- Provide specialist advice to business owners and staff on how to prevent crime from happening;
- Identify, target and disrupt high-crime areas;
- Encourage Neighbourhood Area units to collect, analyse and use intelligence;
- Support Neighbourhood Watch and similar schemes in business areas;
- Establish a one stop shop for businesses to contact if they are concerned about trade name infringement, fraud or cybercrime;
- Proactively connect businesses together to help reduce crime and tackle it when it does take place.
In a village like Thistleton, steps to tackle commercial crime must work hand in glove with a rural policing strategy. The police in Leicestershire and Rutland have a good Rural Watch scheme, but my conversations in Rutland have convinced me that that not enough people know about it. We need to boost communications between the police and the PCC on one hand and the public on the other.
The perception is that rural areas offer easy pickings to criminals due to the great distances involved and secondary or unclassified roads, both of which slow down police response times. That must end. Our local police are doing their best with limited resources, but more needs to be done.
I want the police in Leicestershire and Rutland to:
- Deploy more police to rural areas.
- Ensure higher visibility policing in our rural areas.
- Establish Rural Crime Co-Ordinator who will bring together all the agencies who can help prevent crime in rural areas, and tackle it when it does happen;
- Make Rural Crime Packs available to residents and business to help them protect themselves and ease the fear of crime;
- Build an effective Rural Crimestoppers system to provide a quick, confidential channel that people can use to pass on information about crime and criminals.
- Maintain an online Rural Crime Hub a one stop shop for farmers and other rural businesses giving advice on crime prevention, how to report crime, who to call and two-way communication with police;
- Hold regular public meetings with the Neighbourhood Policing area team present;
- Ensure effective support for Rural Neighbourhood Watch Schemes;
- Rebuild a wide-ranging and properly supported Volunteers on Horseback scheme;
- Work closely with East Midlands Special Operations Unit, National Crime Square and the Border Force to tackle the way gangs dispose of the vehicles;
- Ask Roads Policing vehicles to check farm vehicles and plant, especially movements after dark;
- Lobby for new legislation to make trespass a criminal offence;
- Work with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit to target and disrupt the networks through which stolen farm machinery, farm vehicles and livestock are sold;