Welcome to a different way networking – Every Tuesday morning.

Every Tuesday we explore business issues, reports and feature ethical businesses to help us find the best products and services. It is open to Rotarians and non Rotarians alike.  This week we learn about the Crime Forum  helping the police to reduce crime which impacts on local businesses.

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angusmacphersonCommissioner shows he means business with crime forum   Hundreds of business men and women in Swindon and Wiltshire have the chance to help shape the way police tackle crimes against business.  The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, has embarked on a major consultation exercise with the bosses of large companies, the owners of small and medium enterprises and the many sole traders.  He is organising a free Business Crime Forum at the Corn Exchange in Devizes on Friday 6 September.   Chief Constable Pat Geenty will be at the event to take part in a question and answer session.

Mr Macpherson recently published a Business Crime Survey on his website (which we reproduced here) to find out about the impact of crime and anti-social behaviour on local employers. The results will be presented at the forum.

 The survey asked them what sort of crime or anti-social behaviour they had experienced.  They were invited to say whether they had reported incidents to Wiltshire Police and, if so,  how satisfied they were with the way the force responded.  Another question was how important they believed business crime was to Wiltshire Police and what contact they have had with their Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Mr Macpherson said: “An essential part of my job is to consult with the public and to find out what they regard as their policing priorities.   “The business sector represents a sizeable and important community.  “I was delighted that some 150 business owners or managers took the trouble to complete my survey and I would like to thank the Federation of Small Businesses and the Wessex Chambers of Commerce for bringing the survey to the attention of their members.

 “There is a view that crimes against business are victim-less crimes, but that is far from the truth. Some crimes can have a devastating effect on individuals and on the businesses which are targeted.

“My perception is that Wiltshire Police do take business crime seriously. The force has a talented and very experienced team of fraud investigators who will be offering expert advice at the forum about how to avoid a wide range of frauds.   “Public appeals for information are often released to the media with CCTV images of suspects who have stolen money or goods from stores.

 “And just recently I recall that an organised crime group based in Westbury which had been stealing high value machinery from companies was brought to justice after an excellent investigation by Wiltshire Police.  “But the forum will give our business leaders the opportunity to share their experiences and that will help to shape the way that business crime is tackled in the future.”

 Chief Constable Geenty said: “The business crime survey is an important piece of research and I shall be very interested to study the results.  “I look forward to discussing the issues raised in the Commissioner’s survey with the audience at the Corn Exchange.”

If you would like to attend, please register in advance on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website<http://www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk/Feedback/Business-crime-forum.aspx>. Doors open at 8.45am and the event runs from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Do get in touch if you would like to showcase your business here.  Free to members and a small donation of £25 from non Rotarians.  Charlotte@quicklearn.co.uk

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