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Crime: Business

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the number of crimes committed against business in each of the last three years. (223152)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: The term “business crime” is not specifically used within the recorded crime offence series. The offences that may be attributed to business crime are: robbery of business property, theft by an employee, shoplifting, and fraud by a company director. The available statistics are given in the following table.

Our strategy is to encourage business to work closely in partnership with the police and local authorities through the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) to inform local crime reduction strategies.

Partnership working is perhaps the single biggest success in tackling crime over the past 10 years. We funded the Action Against Business Crime Group to set up and maintain 200 business crime reduction partnerships in towns and cities across England and Wales. These partnerships have proved remarkably successful.

The Home Office is committed to working with our retail partners to ensure that we find effective solutions and responses to retail crime.

Shops and stores are at the heart of most of our communities and crime against those outlets affects us all.

A key strand of the work to address business crime is to ensure that partnerships and stakeholders have the right “tools” and knowledge to deal with retail crime effectively.

As an example of this, the Home Office has funded the Perpetuity Group, which is led by Professor Gill, to devise an audit tool which retailers can apply to their stores and significantly lower the opportunities for shop thieves to operate.

Recorded crime statistics: number of offences recorded for offence classifications that may be attributed to “business crime”, 2005-06 to 2007-08

Offence

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Percentage change 2005-06 to 2007-08

Robbery of business property

8,760

9,454

9,141

4

Theft by an employee

17,048

16,323

15,858

-7

Shoplifting

295,999

294,282

290,625

-2

Fraud by company director1

626

101

197

-69

1 The large increase in this offence in 2005-06 was due to one large-scale fraud recorded by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the large rise in 2007-08 was due to fraud recorded by the North Yorkshire Constabulary.