A0606 Procedure - Business against Crime Initiative
Number: A 0606 Date Published: 18 January 2023 Version 4 – January 2023
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure has undergone its three yearly review. A new EIA has been linked and author details updated. No change to procedure content has been made.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
Business against Crime Initiatives are based on a proven policing method which utilises a partnership approach to tackle areas of volume crime. The initiative uses intelligence led policing to identifying active criminals using the partnership approach to focus resources to deal with them.
It relies on information sharing to assist in identifying and monitoring the activities of those individuals who commit business crime.
It allows a more focused and targeted response by those involved in business and the police to both deter and detect offenders.
The aims of the initiative are to:
Enhance the apprehension and arrest of persons engaged in committing business crime;
Promote a greater understanding of the methods employed to commit offences;
Identify methods used to dispose of stolen property, disposal routes and assist in its recovery;
Enhance the use of resources to target offenders;
Reduce the losses, which result from business crime;
Develop an effective partnership between local police and the business community;
Encourage businesses to work together sharing information on offenders in Essex;
Improve the quality of intelligence.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
The Business against Crime Initiative is based on an individual written agreement between Essex Police and a retail outlet within the local community monitored by officer and staff within the Community Policing Team. Any requests received from retail outlets expressing a desire to implement such an agreement should be referred to the Local Community Policing Team Sergeant.
3.1 Creating of a New Initiative
Any requests to create a new initiative should be allocated by the Local Community Policing Team Sergeant to the local CPT officer for the area in which the retail outlet is situated. The officer will seek to arrange an initial meeting with the local store manager or other employee who has day to day control of the retail premises. The purpose of the meeting is to explain to the manager the basis of the scheme and the additional responsibility they will have to undertake, if they agree to become a member of the scheme. Officers should base their conversation on the established Code of Practice document CP11.
Once the manager has agreed to partake in the scheme the officer will need to establish the following:
The appointment of a nominated employee who will act on behalf of the company to received and hold responsibility for the material disclosed;
The appointment of a nominated member of Essex Police to act as a liaison officer;
The identification of a suitable location for the storage of the information which does not permit access by the general public or unauthorised personnel;
An agreement not to copy or further distribute any material to non authorised personnel.
The officer must then complete the agreement form CP10 to include the name of the nominated company employee, the name of the appointed police liaison officer and the location where the material will be stored.
The officer should then meet with the nominated employee to explain their responsibility under the scheme and to provide them with a copy of the Code of Practice Form CP11. The nominated employee will be asked to read and sign the form.
The officer will then supply a hard cover A4 folder for the storage of the information which will contain:
An index sheet CP9;
Copy of the form CP10;
Copy of the form CP11.
The original forms will be submitted to the AIU for storage. The AIU will be responsible for maintaining a record of all premises subject to a Business Crime Initiative Agreement together will the name of the nominated company representative and the nominated liaison officer.
3.2 Circulation of Material
All material disclosed to any retail outlet registered under the Business against Crime Initiative will be circulated using form CP12. The circulation must relate to an individual known to be active in the commission of criminal offences within the area covered by the scheme. Any photograph used during the circulation must be one taken during the course of police detention for which they received a criminal conviction. The information released will be strictly limited to the following:
Full name of the offender;
A photograph as outlined above;
Details of the conviction that make the circulation relevant;
The area in which the offender is thought to be active;
The types of offences they are believed to be committing.
Officers and staff must remember that the information provided within the document is personal data and should be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
The form should be prepared by members of the Area Intelligence Unit (AIU), allocated a unique reference number and authorised for released by the Area Intelligence Officer. Where the form is prepared by any other person, it should be submitted to the Area Intelligence Officer for allocation of the unique reference number and approval before circulation.
Before authorising the circulation the Area Intelligence Officer must satisfy themselves that the above provisions have been complied with and that the photograph is appropriate for use within the circulation.
The DIU will be responsible for the storage of an electronic copy of the completed Form CP12.
The authorised CP12 will then be forwarded to the liaison officer for circulation to the individual retail outlets. The liaison officer will complete the circulation by handing a copy of the document to the nominated employee personally. No other individuals should make or receive a circulation under this scheme.
The officer should ensure that the circulations are stored within the folder and make entry within the index of the time date and unique reference number of any additional circulations made.
3.3 Review of Existing Circulations
Premises subject of a Business against Crime Initiative should be visited at least once a month to enable a review of the information retained within the folder.
Officers should check that the folder contains the correct number of circulations by examining the entries within the index. They should remove any out of date circulations from the folder and make a note within the index of the time and date of the removal.
The time and date of the review should be entered within the index sheet together with any breaches of the original agreement.
Copies of all expired circulations will be taken to a police station and destroyed as confidential waste. Under no circumstances will they be disposed of at the retail premises. Any circulations found to be missing from the folder must be reported as a security breach using Form PFL001.
Where an expiry date has passed which relates to a circulation of an offender whom the officer considers is still active within the local community, then they can extend the expiry date by up to a further three month period, provided the expiry date is amended within the circulation and a note is made with the index.
3.4 Target Sightings
Sightings of individuals subject to circulation should be made to the local police by the nominated employee together with the circumstances leading up to the sighting. If urgent police assistance is required then the report should be made via the emergency 999 system.
Staff receiving a report of such a sighting must consider whether the circumstances warrant notification of all other scheme members. Details are available within the local AIU.
3.5 Revocation from the Scheme
The liaison officer should monitor any breaches of the original agreement and should seek to amicably resolve these issues through discussion with the local store manager or nominated employee. All breaches must be recorded within the index of the circulation folder.
Where the officer has concerns that any breach of the original agreement threatens the safety or security of the information circulated then they shall report the matter to the AIU Inspector together with the circumstances of the breach.
The Local Community Policing Team Inspector will review the circumstances and seek to resolve the breach through remedial intervention with the store manager. Where this has been attempted and failed the Inspector will authorise the removal of the information subject to the agreement. The Inspector will provide the store manager with a written explanation outlining the breach, any remedial intervention undertaken and their final decision to remove them from the scheme. Any appeal against this decision should be directed to the District Commander.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2022
5.0 Risk Assessment
Risk assessments associated with this procedure relate to organisational risk only.
There is considerable risk that a failure to implement the provisions of this document will result in a disclosure of information to a third party outside the provisions of current legislation. This may well lead to damage to the reputation of Essex Police and or a financial penalty being levied against the organisation.
There are no health and safety considerations associated with this procedure.
The following were asked to consult during the creation of the document:
Health & Safety
Local Policing Team Inspectors
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be reviewed by or on behalf of the Head of Local Policing Support Unit every three years to ensure that it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
8.0 Governing Force policy.
Related Force policies or related procedures
A 0600 Policy - Community Policing
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)
CP9 – Business Against Crime Initiative – Information Sharing Circulation Log
CP10 – Business Against Crime Initiative - Agreement
CP11 – Business Against Crime Initiative – Code of Practice for Using Photo & Information Files by Retailers
CP12 – Business Against Crime Initiative – Photograph Circulation Check List
Form PFL001 – Report of Information Security Breach