Wandsworth Businesses Under Attack

858 hit by thieves and robbers this year

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A new report on tackling small business crime, “High Street Blues”, reveals 28,889 reported robberies and thefts against London’s businesses in 2013, working out to 80 a day. The figures are for the 2013/14 financial year to date.

The report recommends preventative measures such as handing out DNA sprays to small businesses, as part of crime prevention kits, and establishing a digital crime mapping database, which identifies crime trends and hotspots, ultimately helping police gather evidence and target their resources more effectively.

Conservative London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton, Richard Tracey, said:
“Small businesses are the pillars of our high-streets, town centres and local communities, and contribute significantly to Wandsworth’s economy. Unfortunately, many are plagued with persistent crime such as theft and robbery. 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.”

“High Street Blues” also includes in-depth interviews with 32 shops and traders*. 94% (30) have suffered crime more than once. Of these, 47% (14) have suffered from serious crime such as burglary and violence, while 77% (23) have been victims of theft. When it comes to reporting these crimes, 73% (22) of victims say they would not bother going to the police either because they feel it is a pointless exercise, or because they have found the police response unhelpful in the past. “High Street Blues: Tackling Small Business Crime in London” can be accessed at: www.glaconservatives.co.uk/hsb

February 26, 2014