The Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ (FWD) campaign to raise awareness of crime in cash and carry car parks has received backing from the Metropolitan Police in London.
Relaunching the campaign, the FWD has published new leaflets and posters outlining simple actions retailers can take to keep their belongings safe including:
- Always keep your vehicle locked, with nothing valuable visible inside
- Don’t leave your purchases unattended while loading
- Be aware of anyone watching you
FWD’s David Visick said: “The risk of criminal activity on cash and carry car parks is low and the incidents have not increased in the ten years we have been recording them. Wholesalers do all they can to prevent criminal activity on their premises, including employing security guards and dog patrols in the most vulnerable areas.”
Visick explained that the vast majority of thefts came about because the retailer gave the criminals an opportunity that “could easily have been avoided”.
“We’ve heard stories of a cash and carry customer leaving £5,000 in cash in plain view on the front seat of their van, and of someone leaving a trolley load of cigarettes and alcohol unattended beside their vehicle while they went back inside for another,” he said. “FWD has been working with the Metropolitan Police and the National Business Crime Centre to raise awareness of the potential for criminal activity on cash and carry car parks. These posters in the car parks and leaflets distributed at the reception desk are a reminder to customers to take some simple precautions to protect themselves and their purchases.”
The leaflets also remind retailers to report suspicious activity to depot staff and that if they are a victim of crime, they should report it to both the wholesaler and the local police.
Darren Conway of FWD’s security partner Lodge Service stressed the importance of reporting any incidents. “Crime can be stopped by collaboration between wholesalers, security providers, the police, and business crime reduction partnerships. Accurate and timely data and intelligence is the key, and that’s why it’s so important all incidents are reported.
“Predictive analytics can be used along with rapid deployment systems and officers to intercept criminals and ultimately prevent further offences being committed,” added Conway. “The more secure a business is both inside and out, the more unattractive to a criminal it becomes.”