For the first time, Kent’s elected Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has created a survey specifically to understand the impact of business crime in the county.
Questions include ‘How safe do you feel the area is where your business is based?’, ‘Has your business experienced crime in the past year?, and ‘What, if anything, has dissuaded you from reporting business crime in the past?’ The responses received will help Mr Scott understand attitudes towards policing and other crime prevention initiatives across Kent.
Launching the survey, Mr Scott said:
‘Kent Police’s own data shows shoplifting increased by 10% last year, while reports of criminal damage on businesses fell by 10%. However, previous national research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found 21% of small businesses did not report crime which had happened to them so it is likely that recorded crime figures only show part of the problem.
‘One of the key purposes of this survey is to try and better understand exactly how much crime is being committed, and why some of it goes unreported. This not only applies to traditional crimes like theft and robbery but also growing challenges like cyber-enabled crime and fraud.
‘I also want to understand the impact being made by additional dedicated Town Centre PCs. These were introduced last year with support from council tax-payers and, anecdotally, I have heard their presence has been well-received.’
The survey is available on the OPCC website and will remain open for a couple of months. While it is intended mainly for business leaders and store managers, employees are also welcome to complete it and offer their views.
Mr Scott added:
‘I am grateful to Kent Police’s Crime Reduction Project Manager, and also the FSB, for their help in putting the survey together. I was keen to ensure the questions captured all the relevant issues which businesses are currently facing - including fraud, assaults on staff, Covid-19, and rural crime.’