Half of businesses do not report crime

Half of businesses do not report crime
PCC Matthew Scott

Published by Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, the survey shows most companies experienced either criminal damage, graffiti or antisocial behaviour last year, but fewer than half reported the incidents to the police.  

The Business Crime Survey asked companies of all sizes around Kent, what level of criminal activity they’d experienced in the last year. 

Three quarters said they’d suffered some, with antisocial behaviour [74%] the most common crime experienced by businesses, followed by criminal damage [56%]. 

Around 31 per cent of businesses that fell victim to crime were burgled, according to the survey.

But when asked whether they’d reported the incidents to the police, less than half [45%] said they had and 40% said they’d reported some. 

Larger companies were more likely to report crimes than smaller ones, with only 34% of sole traders calling the police in all cases.

When asked the reason for not reporting crime, 61% business owners told the survey that they didn’t think anyone would be punished for the offence and half [50%] said they didn’t think the police would investigate it properly. 40% said it took too long to report a crime. 

Businesses surveyed highlighted three things that woul dmake them feel safer: more visible policing [79%], tougher sentences for offenders [74%], and more CCTV in the area [53%].

Matthew Scott, Kent’s PCC said, “It’s important that we understand the challenges that businesses face and work with them to make their employees safer. During the pandemic, those working in retail have been part of the frontline response and I want to do all I can to help get them the service they want and need.

“It’s important that CCTV continues to be provided locally, and great councils have continued to invest in this. The town centre policing teams are being proactive in supporting companies in the fight against crime and antisocial behaviour. But we need sentences and rehabilitation to be meaningful.”

Former Tunbridge Wells District Commander, Superintendent Peter Steenhuis added: ‘We take crimes against businesses seriously and would encourage them to report all incidents to us. 

“Over the last 18 months the PCC and Kent Police have invested in dedicated Town Centre Officers who are working with businesses to resolve the issues the survey reveals.

“We will continue to work with our partners to continue to address the concerns raised by the business community.”

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