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Uttoxeter firms set to be ‘protected’ by commissioner scheme

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 25, 2014

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A SALON owner has backed an initiative to improve community partnerships to prevent crimes against businesses in Uttoxeter.

Business owners called for better security measures and more police patrols in town after a spate of vandalism attacks in January.

Windows were smashed in at Edmonston’s Butchers, in the Maltings, and Uttoxeter Police Station, and a wall was demolished in Trinity Square.

But, in a bid to combat crime costing businesses, Staffordshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Arnold has launched the Business Crime Matters initiative.

The scheme aims to end the perception that business crime is ‘victimless’.

It will also see firms working closely with police, Neighbourhood Watch and independent charity Crimestoppers to minimise the cost of business crime.

Paula Parkes, owner of Francesco Group salon, in Trinity Square, saw her front windows smashed by vandals last year.

She said: “Any initiative that helps small businesses combat crime is always going to be well received as I have been a ‘victim’ myself.

“It is key that we all take part and support this initiative.

“Although some businesses have insurance, it doesn’t combat the cost of increased insurance premiums and loss of trade I have personally experienced on two occasions.

“My salon window was smashed and a number items were stolen as well.

“Not everyone can afford the cost of CCTV and other such resources and I can foresee, on a practical level, that continual crime on any individual business would make any owner think twice about the viability of continuing trading in town.

“I personally would like to know exactly what is being proposed and more local businesses consulted so we can either pull together and support one another or indeed highlight what we would like to see happen in our local business community.”

Mrs Arnold announced the initiative at Crimestoppers’ recent Midlands conference.

She said: “The total price tag of burglary, shoplifting, robbery, criminal damage, theft and other offences against businesses in Staffordshire is estimated at around £7,300 per hour.

“Worryingly, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, over a third of businesses do not report crime to police.

She said: “Times are tough for small businesses and being a victim of robbery, theft, vandalism or online fraud can be enough to drive them into the ground.

“It was great to talk about the exciting plans we have for a new approach that treats business crime seriously so victims aren’t forgotten.

“It’s about improving support for business owners, making sure they get the best possible service and improving their confidence, which will, in turn, help increase economic growth and job creation in Staffordshire.

“I’m really thankful to Crimestoppers for helping us spread the word.”

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