My sincere greetings to you once again, as our thoughts turn to a busy time for us all in this festive period. Things have been moving at a promising and productive pace since my last blog in early October and it is at this time of year that one often reflects on people coming together, a theme I hope will resonate with you all throughout this message.
The coming together of policing activity and business professionals is of course the whole driving factor for the new National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), which has now launched to tackle business crime across the country, providing a single point of co-ordination across all our Home Office and NPCC police forces. The NBCC website is up and running, adding new content with each passing week, whilst acting as a one-stop-shop for businesses large and small, seeking to engage with law enforcement, signposting to the right departments and providing coordination across agencies. If you have not done so yet, I would urge you to register on the site so you can receive the latest updates and bulletins and twitter @BusinessCrimeUK.
There have been both numerous and outstanding examples of policing and business partnerships successfully addressing business crime in these recent months. I had the great pleasure of opening the 2017 Retail Risk Conference and evening awards and was delighted to hear it was so well attended, my congratulations to all the winners on the night. We continue to support ‘Step Change’ and the NBCC has taken forward the excellent work of Police and Security Initiatives nationally and these continue to grow and develop. A special mention goes to Sussex Constabulary, Mitie and Sainsburys for the award received for its ground breaking Police and Security Initiative. In 2018 we look forward to working with all our Constabularies and security companies in our drive to modernise the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme nationally.
The NBCC continues to work with Home Office and College of Policing colleagues on Violence Reduction and the formation of national ‘Business Crime Reduction Partnership’ standards are moving along well. My gratitude to all the retailers for the measures they put in place for ‘Black Friday’. The New Year is always a good time to have a health check on your business security plan and physical security as well as ensuring your Firewalls are up to date. The National Cyber Security Centre (www.ncsc.gov.uk) has excellent advice and guidance pertaining to current cyber threats to your business.
Further successful partnership work was evident in two recent initiatives called ‘Operation Bird’ run between key retailer partners, NBCC, National Business Crime Solutions (NBCS), Metropolitan and Greater Manchester police forces. Not only were there numerous detentions, banning orders, stock recovery and high value theft deterrents, but also the identification of a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation, demonstrating not only the often tangled web of crime that can intersperse through business, but also the unique opportunity we all have to positively contribute to critical public protection issues as well as economic ones.
The NBCC focus at Christmas is safety and security and we urge, whatever the type or size of business, to please plan ahead; remain alert and to focus ALL staff to be aware of the following practical advice:
Identify the risks to your business and target harden your assets. Make sure you have sufficient security measures, check alarms and CCTV are working and have a clear policy for alerting others of any suspicious activity
- Use ‘Meet and Greet’ on main entrances to your premises, wear clear ID, and do speak to visitors/customers
- In case of having to call Emergency Services DO make sure your staff know the address of your premises
- Have a clear policy for reporting incidents, both to the police and internally and have an available practical and up to date record of ‘out of hours’ staff contact names and numbers
- Always ensure that properly licensed security individuals work in the premises, helping to protect your business, staff & customers. They must wear their SIA licence where it can be seen, and it must be valid.
- Ensure lone workers ‘check in’ regularly with family or colleagues. Visit NBCC website for further practical support
- ‘Get Safe on line’ are running a Christmas advice page for the public, the advice is still sound for businesses: https://www.getsafeonline.org/christmasdevices/
The NBCC seeks to ensure that people have an enjoyable experience celebrating festivities at night, but ask you encourage your staff and customers to THINK SAFE
Safety - Keep personal property safe and secure. Register, Record, Protect
Alcohol - Intoxicated people are more likely to be victims of crime. Know your limits, drink responsibly
Friends - Arrive together, leave together. Make plans in advance and look after each other
Enlightened - Know what you're getting into; is the cab you are using registered? Are you safe?
So where are we headed in 2018? More of the same excellent partnership work and collaborations between businesses throughout the country and our outstanding police forces. The NBCC will work with existing national policing functions like National Counter Terrorism Policing, to ensure effective communication on a range of policing matters and to offer the latest FREE crime prevention guidance. National standards on BCRP’s will be published along with guidance towards GDPR. The NBCC aim to run events throughout the country on Violence Reduction, Cyber & Fraud Protection and Rural crime, so please keep checking NBCC.police.uk and feel free to contact the team if there are areas of a national importance you feel require addressing.
All that remains is to wish you an enjoyable and successful festive period, to thank you once again for all of your hard work and I look forward to addressing you once again in 2018.
Craig Mackey QPM
NPCC Lead for Business Crime