In the wake of riots that plagued retailers in England, the government’s crime prevention minister Baroness Browning has pledged to change how crimes against businesses are reported and recorded.
At a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail & Business Crime, the minister promised to remedy the fact that the Ministry of Justice’s Victims’ Charter does not recognise businesses as victims of crime, so that retail crime is no longer perceived as victimless.
The minister also called on businesses to report crime more often and acknowledged a recent British Retail Consortium survey that claimed 40% of crimes go unreported. She pledged to liaise with crime reporting website Facewatch to help businesses report incidents more easily.
The minister added that the way crimes are recorded must change to avoid masking problem areas and so trends can be accurately identified and addressed. She confirmed that the responsibility of compiling crime statistics would move from government departments to the Office of National Statistics to ensure independence.
Chairman of the group Mike Weatherley MP welcomed the minister’s commitment to the issue. “The riots have demonstrated that focusing on preventing and protecting businesses from being the victims of crime has been long overdue,” he said.
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