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Cameras . . . shedding light . . . and taking action shows the fight against business crime REALLY matters

February 21, 2014
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION: Certificates to Doug Morris, third from left; Julie Davies, fourth from left; with, from left, inspector Mark Barlow;  chief superintendent Jon Drake; police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis and myself

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION: Certificates to Doug Morris, third from left; Julie Davies, fourth from left; with, from left, inspector Mark Barlow; chief superintendent Jon Drake; police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis and myself

BUSINESS leaders fighting crime have been handed a massive cash boost – to keep up the terrific work.

Partnerships in Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent have received more than £25,000 from an innovative strategy which I’m spearheading on behalf of Staffordshire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

New CCTV cameras are to be put up outside North Staffordshire Justice Centre in Newcastle thanks to a £15,000 grant while £12,000 will help set up new partnerships in Leek, Cheadle and Biddulph.

Staffordshire police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis and myself handed framed certificates to Doug Morris from Newcastle Partnership Against Business Crime and Julie Davies from Stoke-on-Trent Business Crime Reduction Partnership, in recognition of their ‘outstanding contribution to reducing business crime in Staffordshire’.

We were joined by chief superintendent Jon Drake, business crime lead for Staffordshire Police.

The partnerships, which bring local businesses together to fight and prevent town centre crime, are part of umbrella organisation Partnerships Against Business Crime in Staffordshire which sets the standards for local partnerships.

Both areas have also received funding from the OPCC’s Proceeds of Crime Fund.

As a former president of Southern Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, I am only too aware that there is a perception that crimes against local businesses are ‘victimless’.

That’s why I was so keen to take up the challenge thrown down by the OPCC of running the Business Crime Matters strategy.

We are now consulting on this new strategy which recognises how important small local businesses are and that when they suffer crime they are victims in the same way that someone who is robbed in the street is a victim.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent but being a victim of robbery, theft or vandalism can be enough to drive them into the ground and make people’s lives a misery.

Chief supt Drake added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be recognising the incredible achievements of Julie and Doug.

“Their tenacity, passion and commitment in this area has let to us being able to present certificates in recognition of the contribution that their organisations make to tackling business crime in partnership with the police.

“The work they are doing is helping reduce crime and keep people safe during the day and night – particularly in town centres.”

The Proceeds of Crime Fund , which supports projects in conjunction with local policing teams and local authorities, is made up of assets and money seized by police from criminals in Staffordshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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