Belfast Telegraph

Ford - Crack down on retail crime this Christmas

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has hosted a crime prevention seminar for businesses to help crack down on retail crime in the run-up to Christmas.

The event, which was held at The Mac in Belfast, was also attended by the PSNI, Trading Standards Services and Retailers against Crime, and focused on crime prevention advice to the business sector in areas such as shoplifting, business scams and credit card fraud. 

The event was organised by the Business Crime Partnership which consists of representatives from a range of statutory and non-statutory partners, and their role is to take forward Action Plans from the Community Safety Strategy which was published in 2012. 

Addressing the seminar, Justice Minister David Ford said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, I know from talking to retailers that the economic downturn and public disorder have made life difficult. We need to do all we can to support retailers.

“Retail crime, whether it is shoplifting, fraud or even violent burglary, can have a devastating impact on businesses of any size. Over recent years shoplifting and robbery crimes have decreased but we can not afford to be complacent.

"I very much hope that today’s event will provide the retail community with some practical advice and useful information on how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime and how to protect their premises, their staff and their livelihoods.”

The PSNI, the Organised Crime Task Force, Trading Standards and Belfast City Centre Management were all on hand to offer advice and information. Other initiatives promoted at the event included Retail Crime Watch, Safe Shop and BusinessWatch.

David Ford continued: “It is good to see a number of Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) represented today. PCSPs have a key role to play in engaging with local communities, including the business community, to identify issues of local concern and in developing actions to help address these concerns.

Notes to editors:

1. The Business Crime Partnership consists of representatives from local businesses, umbrella business organisations, the PSNI and the Department of Justice. It has been tasked with looking at the needs of the business community and working in partnership to develop and deliver initiatives aimed at tackling business crime. The Business Crime Partnership also recently led on the delivery of the new Rural Crime Unit in the PSNI – a partnership between the Department of Justice, NFU Mutual, the PSNI. The Minister announced on 14 October 13 that the Rural Crime Unit Steering Group will now also include a representative from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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