Reference number: PR/2009/43 FSB News Release PR/2009/43 Issue date: Monday 13 July 2009 Police must show commitment to fighting crimes against business FSB launches ‘Listening to the Business Beat'' award The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching a best practice checklist for police officers to use to prove their commitment to their local business community, warning that ‘recessionary crime'' against business is on the rise. A growing number of businesses have reported an increase in crime in the last 12 months, with 64 per cent saying they have been the victim of a crime – up seven per cent from 2006. Figures from AXA, insurer of small and medium businesses, show that for the second consecutive half-year (to end 2008), year-on-year numbers of crimes against businesses have increased by around 10 per cent, with a marked increase in what could be categorised as ‘recessionary'' crime, or crime that occurs more frequently during an economic downturn such as burglary, staff intimidation, arson and assault. The FSB is urging police forces to pay attention to these figures and listen to the concerns of small businesses on their beat. In a new campaign to raise awareness and improve best practice among police officers, the FSB will be issuing a ‘Listening to the Business Beat'' award to the forces around the country that can demonstrate they are listening to the small firms based on their patch. Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses Home Affairs Chairman, said: "All the reports show that crimes against business are rising during the recession and businesses risk becoming victims due to an increase in threatening behaviour, burglary, arson and assaults on their staff. The police cannot allow these warning signs to pass them by. Police forces around the country must include the businesses on their beat in their response to these crimes and demonstrate that they take crimes against this important part of the community seriously. Small businesses need to know that the police are listening to the businesses on their beat, and that they will fight crime effectively with the information they are given." ACC Allyn Thomas, Association of Chief Police Officers lead for crimes against business, said: "Successful businesses, of all shapes and sizes, are the bedrock of prosperous communities across the UK. Police forces need to understand the nature and scale of criminality that affects both public and business communities and on this basis set priorities and allocate resources. "The proposals from the FSB to improve partnership working with Neighbourhood Policing Teams, CDRP''s, police forces and Police Authorities are a welcome development in improving this understanding, at a time of increasing financial constraints. I am sure Police Forces would welcome the opportunity to hear the concerns of the business community and we are developing proposals to take this forward with the Home Office and the APA in the autumn."