Sue Mounstevens pledges to fight harder to improve reporting and results on business crime
Sue Mountstevens has pledged to increase dialogue between the police and local businesses to improve reporting of crime across the Avon and Somerset Constabulary region should she be re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on May 5th.
Business crimes, significantly, already count for about a quarter of all crimes recorded. The crime rate for businesses in the Avon and Somerset region has fallen by 18% but Sue maintains there is still a far way to go.
Sue was responsible for the introduction of Business Crime Forums and during her time as PCC has works alongside key business organisations including the Crime Reduction Partnerships, Chambers of Commerce, and Federation of Small Businesses.
She said: "I am very conscious that business crime is under-reported as owners may believe it's more hassle than its worth to call it in and so 'go it alone'.
"One of the reasons that I increased investment into the 101 service during my time as PCC is so that people will report more and have their problems dealt with."
Across the region there is a large variety of businesses with different needs.
She said: "Rural forces continue to be under-funded and belonging to the National Rural Crime Network, I would continue to lobby Government to give us a fairer funding settlement.
"We already have dedicated Rural Crime Action Days where the police with Trading Standards, VOSA and Animal and Plant Health Agency, targeting vehicles looking for stolen livestock and stolen agricultural kit.
"We have set up a Rural Crime Forum which is independently chaired so that the police can listen, identify and tackle rural issues."
However, business crime is also changing and Sue believes online issues such as cybercrime and online fraud are set to increase.
She said: "There also needs to be extra resources for tackling cyber crime, this can be anything from fraud, online harassment to grooming. By sharing more back office functions with partners such as police forces and fire authorities, we can free up savings that can then be reinvested in cybercrime, as well as protecting our most vulnerable."