Increased collaboration between companies and the police can play a vital role in combating business crime, according to Catherine Bowen from the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS).
Bowen’s comments come in the wake of the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, admitting that six in every ten crimes reported to his force are not investigated.
The chief constable said police have to concentrate their efforts on the most serious crimes, or incidents in which there is evidence which gives a realistic prospect of achieving a conviction. This translates to only around 40 per cent of crime being actively pursued.
Fahy, who is vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), admitted in many crimes there are no witnesses and no forensic or CCTV evidence. He also said most offences were committed by “active persistent offenders” that the force is keenly targeting.
The NBCS encourages collaboration between the private and public sector to manage intelligence related to business crime. Bowen, policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS, claims it is time to “take action” and build a comprehensive profile of business and retail crime at a local and regional level.
“With resources stretched and increasing pressure to cut budgets, the police have no choice but to focus their efforts on the most serious incidents of crime, or those where the lines of investigation are most likely to produce evidence,” said Bowen.
“While I appreciate the difficulties Fahy and his colleagues are facing, there is a solution that has been, up until now, overlooked – collaboration.”
Bowen added that closer collaboration between businesses and the police can build a profile of business crime in the UK and help the police to establish watertight cases that can result in prosecutions.
“Through centralised and collective data sharing we can help businesses pinpoint the exact nature and scale of potential threats as well as identifying prolific, persistent and travelling offenders,” she added.
“This initiative is supported by ACPO and is recognised as having the ability to help the police more effectively focus their resources and to reduce the crimes that impact on businesses and local communities alike.”