Businesses have been urged by Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson not to keep quiet if they become victims of crime.
Speaking at a Salisbury Chamber of Commerce lunch, he said it was clear from those who were at his Business Crime Forum he held in September that there were a number of people who had been victims of business crime, but had not reported it to the police.
“People will have different reasons for not reporting a crime,” he said. “There will be cases when a business man or woman feels too embarrassed that they have been scammed.
“But, let’s be frank — in some cases it will be because they do not believe anything much will happen as a result of contacting the national fraud line – Action Fraud – or the constabulary.
“This failure to report crimes, whatever the reason, creates a problem. The crime that we know about is falling, but the crime that we don’t know about is not accounted for.”
The Commissioner added: “We need these crimes to be reported for two reasons. First, so that the proper level of national policing resources is made available. Second, because the intelligence that flows from logging these crimes will help Wiltshire Police, and agencies like the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, to build a far better picture of what is going on — and who is behind the offences.
“The other point I want to get across to the community at large and – indeed – to police officers , is that business crime is NOT a victim-less crime. Hearing the stories of some of those at my Forum, the pain of being burgled or ripped off was all too evident.
“They felt that same sense of violation that a householder can experience when their home is broken into. And for a small trader working all hours to get a business off the ground, a burglary or a scam can have a devastating effect, both on their morale and their bottom line.”
And he declared: “In a sense we are all victims of business crime because we can all end up paying for it through higher insurance premiums, bigger bills and higher bank charges.
“So please, if you have the misfortune to become a victim of a business scam, report the offence to Action Fraud who will log the details and alert Wiltshire Police.”