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Don’t become a victim of business crime, says Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner

November 1, 2019

Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Sue Arnold is urging businesses across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to take advantage of a range of free initiatives to prevent them becoming victims of crime.

Sara Williams and Sue Arnold.jpg

Speaking at the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual Staffordshire Business Festival on Tuesday (5 November), Mrs Arnold will discuss the unique initiatives on offer to support businesses in the county and city:

 

  • Staffordshire SMART Alerts – a free service which shares timely local updates on crimes and incidents from police and partners via email or an app. Alerts can be tailored to particular locations or areas of interest. staffordshiresmartalert.uk/staffs/
  • Cyber champions – free workplace training to help Staffordshire businesses stay one step ahead of online fraudsters. There are now over 200 dedicated workplace cyber champions.
  • Crime prevention advisors – trained to deliver tailored support packages to businesses to prevent them becoming victims of crime.
  • Digital PCSO – providing crime prevention advice to keep businesses and residents cyber-safe. Follow @SP_DigitalPCSO on Twitter.
  • Business Crime Helpline – delivered by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to provide specialist support to businesses impacted by crime: 01782 900239 or email

businesscrime@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

 

Mrs Arnold, who leads on business crime on behalf of Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis, said: ‘Small businesses are the lifeline of our economy and it is vital we support them.

 

‘Business crime is a very real threat and can devastate companies of any size, in any industry, but the impact of robbery, theft, vandalism or online fraud can be particularly damaging for smaller businesses.

 

‘As a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, I am delighted to be presenting at the Festival and sharing ways businesses can reduce the chance of becoming victims.

 

‘This is not only good for them, but has benefits for Staffordshire as a whole – a safe county is attractive for inward investment.’

 

Find out more about the Staffordshire Commissioner’s commitment to tackling business crime: www.staffordshire-pfcc.gov.uk/initiatives/business-crime-matters/

Rural Crime strategy launched

October 2, 2019

The Rural Crime strategy Rural-Crime-2019.jpghas been created by the Staffordshire Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Commissioner, in partnership with Staffordshire Police.

Its findings include:
• The impact of rural crime cost Staffordshire £54m last year¹
• Road collisions in rural areas are twice as likely to result in serious or fatal injuries
• Rural businesses are likely to suffer more serious crime than those in urban areas
• Fly-tipping in Staffs and Stoke-on-Trent has increased by more than half since 2012

The wide-ranging report includes case studies on crimes which have affected rural communities, including the theft of plant machinery worth more than £250,000 from a site in Keele in May 2018, some of which was later recovered in Yorkshire.

The report was commissioned by Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Sue Arnold after a national study raised concerns over the impact of crime on rural communities.

Sue Arnold said:

“Staffordshire is generally a safe place to live and work but this study outlines the full extent of the impact crime has in our rural areas, which make up over three-quarters of the county.

“One in five people in our county lives in a rural setting and it is vital police and communities work together in order to prevent and reduce criminal activity.

“I hope this report will act as a catalyst for increased awareness of crime in our rural communities and I urge people to take steps to protect themselves and their businesses, such as signing up for Smart Alerts and engaging with the police.”

Officers from Staffordshire Police will be on hand to offer crime prevention tips for people in rural communities at the Staffordshire County Show, which begins today.

Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said:

“We recognise the huge impact rural and wildlife crime has upon communities in Staffordshire and there are many great examples of positive work to tackle this. These include operations with neighbouring forces and partners to gather intelligence and deter wrongdoing as well as engagement with rural communities to help prevent and detect crime, thereby keeping people safe and reassured.

“The Staffordshire Police Rural and Wildlife Crime Unit is well-established and is continuing to develop its capabilities and relationships with partners. This assessment of rural crime will provide further insights to inform the force’s approach to tackling existing and emerging threats across the county.”

Working together to make Staffordshire a safer place to do business.

October 2, 2019

 

Deputy Commissioner Sue Arnold, who leads on business crime on behalf of Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis, met with LEP chair David Frost to discuss the role of the LEP in promoting the area as a place to do business.

The LEP is a business-led organisation whose role is to bring jobs and growth to the region.

Deputy Commissioner Sue Arnold said: “Business crime is a very real threat – it is far from a victimless crime and can devastate companies of any size, in any industry. By working together with our partners, we can ensure we develop a consistent approach to business crime across Staffordshire.”

David Frost added: “Business crime is of growing concern and, if Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is to retain its position as a favoured business destination, we need to show local companies that we are treating the matter with real seriousness.”

Tackling business crime is an important part of the Commissioner’s Safer, Fairer United Communities strategy. As part of this wider activity, the Commissioner’s Office has appointed Staffordshire University to research business crime in the county.

The research will inform the development of the Business Crime Strategy and help to deliver the Commissioner’s vision to prevent businesses becoming victims of crime through interventions they can easily access and use.

Online Fraud Conference tackles cyber crime

August 31, 2019

Staffordshire Police line up to tackle domestic abuse

October 20, 2017

A campaign to tackle domestic abuse received welcome support this week as Staffordshire Police began training a number of officers and members of staff to become domestic abuse champions.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire currently funds Staffordshire Women’s Aid to provide free training for businesses who want to participate in the scheme and 150 champions have already been recruited from the business sector.

Every year, nearly 2 million adults suffer some form of domestic abuse.

Locally, 23,083 domestic abuse incidents were reported 2015-2016;

The scheme was developed to support victims and aims to reduce the number of offences.

There’s also an economic impact, domestic abuse costs the economy £23 billion a year and employers £1.7 billion a year.

Sue Arnold, DPCC said:

‘I’m delighted that Staffordshire Police, as one of our major employers is supporting the Domestic Abuse Champions initiative. Victims should never be afraid to come forward, whatever sector they work in.’

‘This scheme helps to raise awareness of the signs of abuse but more needs to be done to change attitudes and tackle the perpetrators. It’s not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.’

Speaking about the training ACC Emma Barnett said:

‘Our officers and staff play a significant role in helping to put a stop to domestic abuse in communities. However, they may also be victims, so the role of the Work Place Domestic Abuse Champions is to raise awareness and to provide support, including guiding towards specialist services.’

Any business wishing to take part in the scheme is asked to email: workplace.support@staffordshire.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

Pictured Left to right: Emma Barnett ACC Staffs Police, Sandy Sykes Staffs Woman’s aid and Sue Arnold Deputy PCC

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I’m asking for greater protection for company directors against fraud

July 18, 2017

Cybercrime and online fraud are on the increase but recent figures suggest that company directors are twice as likely to become the victims of identity theft as

members of the general public.

Cifas, the organisation that operates the National Fraud Database has highlighted the fact that a great deal of personal information about company directors is available via the Companies House register, leaving directors vulnerable.

Responding to a report in the Financial Times last month, Companies House stated that they were working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to review the availability of personal information on the register.

Identity fraud is said to cost around £5.4bn a year according to research undertaken by Portsmouth University.

The Deputy PCC, Sue Arnold, has today written to the Right Hon Greg Clark, the minister responsible, asking for an urgent update.

‘There were 173,000 recorded cases of identity fraud in the UK last year. Cybercriminals and online fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated but it’s clear that Companies House has failed to move with the times. Here in Staffordshire, we are working with our partners to reduce the levels of online crime but we need to be assured that the government is doing all it can to reduce the number of incidents.’

The PCC is leading a coalition of partners from businesses, banks, law enforcement and public safety agencies who are sharing their expertise in a concerted effort to protect residents and businesses from all forms of online fraud.

‘Online fraud often targets the vulnerable but we all need to be vigilant to prevent what can be a costly and deeply upsetting form of crime.’

Proud of my work – 100 domestic abuse champions!!

March 20, 2017

Two years work came to fruition when I celebrated the training of 100 domestic abuse champions.

DPCC-Sue-Arnold-with-SOT-City-Council-champions

I visited Stoke-on-Trent City Council, who have followed in the footsteps of other businesses such as The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Keele University, Burton Albion Community Trust and many more to see the training in action and meet the 100th champion.

The programme was launched in 2015 as part of efforts to offer better support for victims of domestic abuse.

Nine members of staff at Stoke-on-Trent City Council have now received the free in-depth training which provides information and guidance for nominated staff members to spot tell-tale signs of abuse and give practical and confidential guidance to colleagues.

Recorded incidents for domestic abuse in Staffordshire show that over 16,000 cases were reported in 2016. Such crime is estimated to cost the economy £23 billion a year – including £1.7 billion for employers alone and that is just the financial cost.

Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on victims and can affect the whole of their lives – including their work. Victims are likely to suffer in silence for a long time before talking to anyone about what they are going through.

However, managers and colleagues at work may notice changes in their behaviour – such as problems with concentration, anxiety, dips in work quality, regularly arriving late or leaving early – which could signal abuse at home.

By signing up, Stoke-on-Trent City Council alongside many other local businesses are going public with their commitment to tackling domestic abuse and show a clear commitment to supporting staff who are victims in a sensitive way.

To find out more or to sign your business up visit http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/domestic-abuse/.

Ground-breaking Staffordshire cyber crime survey reveals tip of the iceberg

March 15, 2017

Today I unveiled a ground-breaking survey into the true state of cyber crime in Staffordshire.

An update from the public

I’ve spearheaded work ( with my wonderful colleagues at the office) to show the true extent of the cyber crime epidemic and the victims it leaves in its wake, said the survey, the first of its kind to be carried out in the county, shows the level of crime identified is actually just the tip of the iceberg.

This survey shows the number of crimes is at least double the amount Staffordshire Police is currently aware of and that is shocking, because we know the majority of cyber crime is still unreported by individuals and businesses.

We’ve pioneered a new approach with the creation of an online fraud partnership forum, which brings together a wide variety of organisations and law enforcement to tackle online fraud together for the first time.

We have ensured cyber crime victims are supported in Staffordshire with help from the Victims’ Gateway, which is unique to the county thanks to the police and crime commissioner’s office.

Key findings from the survey are:

  • 62,000 internet users were victims of at least one cyber crime but the majority are still unreported
  • 16,250 victims did not report the incidents. Of those who did only 14% reported it to the police or Action Fraud
  • 46,000 of those who go online with dependents under 18 have not taken measures to protect them.
  • 146,000 of those who go online have not taken any measures to protect themselves.

The county-wide survey forms part of a cyber-crime awareness week launched in Staffordshire by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, who is shining the spotlight on the issue and calling for a review of Action Fraud, the national body for reporting cyber crime and online fraud.

The survey provides a snapshot of over 1,100 households in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, where all those aged 16 and over were interviewed. The results give an indication of the current situation and will now help build a clearer picture for the future.

The survey demonstrates that potentially 62,000 internet users across Staffordshire were victims of at least one cyber attack. Of these, only 12% reported the incident to the police and 2% reported to Action Fraud.

The survey highlights a cause for concern with 1 in 5 internet users not taking any steps to protect themselves online. Worryingly, over a third of respondents with young people in their household had not taken any steps at all to protect them from a cyber attack.

The results highlight the need to stay ahead of the cyber criminals and it is apparent more work needs to be undertaken to combat this ever-growing threat.

This research, for the first time, paints a picture of how cyber crime is truly affecting people of all ages across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and gives us a starting point to shape how we tackle it from now on.

Cyber crime

The picture above denotes that cybercrime knows no barriers from the very young to the not so young!

 

The way cyber crime is dealt with needs to change and change quickly if we’re going to have a chance of fighting this huge threat effectively and giving victims the justice they deserve.

 

 

”There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” – Michelle Obama

March 9, 2017

I celebrated International Women’s Day with a group of women from Stoke-on-Trent today.

I talked to the guests at the North Staffordshire YMCA event about my life journey and how I got to where I am  today.

YMCA speaking

 

I was one of three women speakers working in demanding high profile roles, including Abi Brown, Deputy Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Helen Chadwick from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March every year, has taken the theme of ‘women in the changing world of work’ for 2017.

It is incredibly important that we inspire and empower the women and girls in our communities and beyond to believe they can do anything in today’s society. There should be no limit to their aspirations and ambitions, anything is possible.

I was delighted to share the stage today with two great role models in the form of Abi and Helen who demonstrate every day to girls and women in Staffordshire just what is possible.

A spokesperson from North Staffordshire YMCA said:

‘We wanted to support International Women’s Day, to celebrate all of the amazing women across the world.

‘We partnered with Hanley Park to deliver a range of activities here in Stoke on Trent, and as part of that, we wanted to give women an opportunity to listen to the experiences of others and the challenges that we all face.

‘We are delighted that the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has joined us and raised the aspirations of women in our local communities’

The event was attended by approximately 50 people from across Stoke-on-Trent from all walks of like.

 

Here's to strong women

DEPUTY PCC CALLS FOR AN END TO UNFAIR DOMESTIC ABUSE PRACTICE

February 13, 2017

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC), Sue Arnold is calling for an end to the insensitive and unfair practice of charging victims of domestic abuse money to receive a medical letter to prove they have been abused.

 

Mrs Arnold said: “It is insulting to these victims that they are being charged up to £300 to receive a letter to prove that they have been a victim of this crime.

 

“People experiencing domestic abuse should be offered support to help remove them from their situation not be presented with obstacles to make leaving even more difficult.
“These victims and their families go through a terrible and often prolonged ordeal which can affect them for the rest of their lives.

“Victims face many practical and emotional obstacles when leaving an abusive relationship. These can vary from housing problems, childcare and money issues but many victims

suffer in silence for a long time before talking to anyone about what they are going through.

 

“I would urge the Secretary of State for Health to review this callous practice.”

 

Making sure that different organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent work together to provide better services which are cost effective has been a priority of Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis’ since he came into office in 2013.
As part of this priority a workplace-based initiative was set up in 2015 by DPCC Sue Arnold to offer better support for victims of domestic abuse. Organisations who sign-up to the programme – at no cost to themselves – commit to taking steps to support staff in abusive relationships and make sure victims are aware that help is available.

 

In Staffordshire domestic abuse has risen by 18% with over 13,000 crimes reported over the last 12 months.

You can find out more at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/domestic-abuse/

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