Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice has announced the launch of a new Business Crime Partnership (BCP) to tackle criminality affecting the local commercial sector.
An action plan has been drawn up by the Department, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and Police and Community Safety Partnerships, with the support of businesses from across Northern Ireland.
Department of Justice official Sinead Simpson, who chairs the BCP, said: “Respect for the law and each other are fundamental requirements for a stable society. The Business Crime Partnership exists to support the thousands of businesses, large and small, who work in a fiercely challenging sector to serve our community.
“Working in partnership with the commercial sector we aim to deliver around the clock support, advice and guidance for businesses to help them protect themselves from criminals who seek to target them.
“I would encourage all business to follow the simple advice and guidance we are offering and to join with us and tackle business crime together.”
The Business Crime Action Plan takes a “two-strand approach”. It focuses on providing crime prevention and protective security advice to tackle the increasingly sophisticated methods criminals are using to target businesses. The plan also sets out to identify new ways in which the criminal justice cystem can directly support businesses.
PSNI business crime lead, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd, said: “By providing critical services and much needed employment, businesses are at the heart of our community.
“Crime against business is not victimless; from financial loss to abuse and violence towards frontline staff, all crime can have a lasting negative impact on the local economy, the prosperity and perceptions of our cities, towns and villages.
“Police will continue to work collaboratively with local businesses, partners, agencies and the community to prevent harm, protect our citizens and detect offenders.
“In addition to following the available advice, I encourage everyone in the business community to report all incidents of crime directly to police, and in addition, to continue engaging with local police so we can work together to prevent these crimes.”