Our Business Crime Team are here to support our local business community. They work to prevent businesses, staff and customers from becoming a victim of crime.
We know that the type of crime that could affect a business is often specific. Our Business Crime Team officers have the specialist knowledge to support businesses with the prevention of crime and the prosecution of criminals.
If you are a local business and would like more information about how we can support you please contact us.
By reporting crime, no matter how minor, you help us to understand the crimes affecting our business community. We assess every report made to us. The information you provide could help to convict a criminal who has been causing harm to our local businesses.
Always call 999 if someone’s life or property is in immediate danger or if there’s a crime taking place.
The impact of business crime can be dramatic, particularly for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), where the losses can ruin them. It’s important to understand what the threats are and where they come from so you can take action against them. Here you will find steps you can take to protect yourself, your staff and your business.
We want our communities to be a safe place where businesses can thrive. Here you can find out about the initiatives we are running to support businesses with the prevention of crime.
We have also included posters that you can print and display.
Violence and abuse towards staff is not ok.
We know that incidents of violence or abuse towards staff go unreported. And we want this to change.
Our priority is to prevent physical or verbal abuse towards staff in the first place. We work with those in public facing roles by providing them with crime prevention advice. We help businesses to discourage crime and understand what is and isn't acceptable behaviour from the public.
But should the worst happen, we want businesses to feel confident that reports will be investigated and victims will be supported. And we want offenders to know they will be prosecuted.
Selling knives to people under the age of 18 is illegal.
Knives can become dangerous weapons on our streets. This is even more likely when knives are sold to under 18s.
We are working to make sure local retailers are confident in their knowledge around the sale of age-restricted goods, including knives.
We are asking those who stock and sell knives to enter into a voluntary 'responsible retailer agreement'. We ask they help to stop underage knife sales and make sure the knives they are selling are stored safely and securely.
'Just here to train' is an initiative that has been set up by our Business Crime Team. It came about following conversations with gym staff and customers.
Staff said that customers sometimes report harassment or unwanted attention from other gym members. Some gym-goers suggest that harassment or unwanted attention when working out is 'to be expected'. But it shouldn't be. No-one should be made to feel anxious when attending an exercise class or using the gym. Thankfully, this is not a major issue in Essex. But in our view, one victim, is one too many.
'Just here to train' works to challenge inappropriate and unwanted behaviour within the gym environment. We want to encourage people to report incidents of harassment. And we want to persuade potential perpetrators to think about their behaviour.
Most gyms have a code of conduct or ‘gym etiquette’ and staff will act if they are made aware of an issue.
Posters with the 'just here to train' message have been put in gyms across Essex. As well as reminding gym-goers that unwanted attention is not ok, the posters have a QR code which takes people directly to our online reporting service. There is also information explaining what harassment is, and the law around it.
The Business Crime Team are working with hospitality and retail businesses in Essex to help keep their staff and customers safe.
The aim is to give public facing hospitality and retail staff the knowledge and confidence to deal with conflicts in the workplace. This includes situation that could become abusive or violent.
The team also talk about the signs that indicate a person might be the victim of domestic abuse. Staff are shown how to approach a potential victim, check they are ok, and talk to them about where they can get help.
We know being a victim of cybercrime and fraud can be costly for a business. Not just financially but it's reputation too. And today, money isn't the only thing criminals look to steal. Data is just as valuable to criminals too. Businesses need to be on the front foot when it comes to protecting themselves, and their customers, from this crime.
Our Business Crime Team offer free fraud and cybercrime clinics for businesses in Essex.
Clinics are held online or in person by an officer who has a specialist knowledge around this crime. They cover issues relevant to businesses and offer practical tips on how to prevent becoming a victim of fraud and cybercrime. The session will also cover emerging trends and the signs to look out for.
Clinics will be tailored to the need of the businesses.
A criminal behaviour order (CBO) is a set of conditions placed on an individual by a court. These conditions prevent the person from causing further harm against the business. The conditions could include banning the individual from entering a particular shop or area, such as a town centre, for a defined amount of time. If the person breaches the order, it could result in a prison sentence.
The Business Crime Team will apply for a CBO against those who continue to commit crime against local businesses.
It has proved to be a successful way of reducing offences such as theft or abuse towards staff.
CBOs also tackle the underlying causes of offending. Where appropriate, offenders are required to engage in treatment services. This could include drug and alcohol addiction support.
Working with local businesses and organisations is key in dealing with business crime in Essex. No one group or organisation can tackle it on their own. By working together, we can identify trends, discuss common concerns and find solutions.
The Essex Business Crime Strategic Board exemplifies this. The Board brings together Essex Police, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's Office and the Essex Chamber of Commerce. By combining knowledge, skills and resources, we can continue to reduce crime and help businesses to thrive in Essex.
Watch the video to find out more about the Essex Business Crime Strategic Board.