A round-up of activity from our Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE
This week I chaired the latest meeting of our Safer Sussex Business Partnership bringing together major UK retailers, business organisations and police business crime experts.
One topic of discussion was the recent Home Affairs Select Committee report into violence against shopworkers, including the debate about creating a specific offence to address this crime.
A major aim of our Partnership is to reduce reoffending; it was agreed that it’s vital to break the costly and destructive cycle of theft and abuse by persistent offenders. We heard that around 20% of offenders are committing 80% of the crimes, so targeting them is a key priority.
Longer-term behaviour change, however, does need support programmes which can be sustained long-term. Our Partnership will be looking at the best models and how they should be funded.
The Co-op reported that the One Touch Reporting pilot is being very well received by store colleagues because it saves them valuable time. Incidents are quickly and accurately logged by the 9 business crime specialists in Sussex Police’s Incident Resolution Centre.
Other Co-op stores across Sussex and national retailers across the country are looking forward to adopting One Touch in coming months.
I was delighted to hear that other businesses and PCCs around the UK want to build partnerships like ours. It’s even better to hear that some businesses “wish our force was doing what Sussex Police is doing to prevent and respond to retail crime”.
This week, I also took part in a Q&A session run by the Federation of Small Businesses, where the issue of assaults on shopworkers was again a key topic.
With this week’s relaxation of Covid restrictions, stores and staff are understandably keen to make businesses as customer-friendly as possible whilst remaining safe. I hope that customers and visitors to Sussex will continue to #SHOPKIND.