Scotland Yard says it’s committed to tackling underreporting of crime against businesses after a new report suggested many firms aren’t reporting crimes out of disillusionment with police.
The report, published by the Conservative group on the London Assembly, suggests 94% of businesses surveyed have suffered crime more than once.
Of these, 47% suffered a serious crime such as burglary and violence, while 77% have been victims of theft.
Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents said they wouldn’t contact the police even after suffering a serious crime because they feel it would be “pointless”, or because they’ve found the police unhelpful in the past.
The document sets out a number of recommendations aimed at cutting crime against businesses and making it easier for police to catch the culprits.
These include educating firms about local Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) which work to reduce the cost and impact of crime and distributing crime prevention kits such as DNA sprays to help make it easier to identify the culprits.
Conservative crime spokesman, Roger Evans AM, said: “Shop keepers and traders across London tell me that they don’t have faith in the police’s ability to deliver justice, if they fall victim to crime.
“Distributing DNA sprays, that cover criminals with a solution for a few days after the incident, would act as an effective deterrent.
“It would mean that the Met would save money, as if the crime doesn’t happen in the first place, officers wouldn’t need to spend their time on investigations and the court process. By being proactive and deterring thieves and robbers, our small businesses will be able to thrive in a safe environment.”
A Met spokesperson said they “recognise the need to reduce under reporting so that there is a more accurate picture of business crime.”
Later this year the force will publish its first Business Crime Strategy which the spokesperson said will “build on and further improve engagement, information sharing and interaction between police and business communities.”