Police set up initiative in bid to protect businesses

HOR 050711 Business Watch launch at Trafalgar Cleaning.  photo by derek martin

HOR 050711 Business Watch launch at Trafalgar Cleaning. photo by derek martin

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A NEW initiative to help businesses prevent crime and share information was launched in Horsham on Tuesday.

After the success of Business Watch in the southern half of the district Sussex Police, along with its partners, are keen to spread its good work to the northern part of the district.

Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett told the County Times that neighbourhood policing was focused on residential communities but added: “This gives us a means of opening a conversation with the commerical sector and finding out how we can best meet their needs. What can the police do to help businesses florish in the Horsham area?”

Chief Inspector Mark Trimmer, Horsham District commander, added: “I think we recognise the impact crime has on businesses, particularly local businesses, and we’re keen to work with them and help them reduce the risk and improve their confidence in us and a key thing for us is the partnership working with the Chamber of Commerce, Horsham District Council and the Federation of Small Businesses.

“As a collective we want to make Horsham and even safer place to work.”

The scheme was launched at Trafalgar Cleaning Equipment, in Foundry Close, with the aim of recruiting buisnesses throughout the day.

The firm had recently been a victim of crime and manging director Martin Bremner said: “I think it’s great idea. It’s a bit like Neighbourhood Watch but for businesses. It’s a good idea for businesses to join together to try and prevent crime in the area.”

Last week the County Times reported the theft of £40,000 worth of iPads and iPhones from the 3 store in Swan Walk.

Ann Swain is the chairman of the Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex branch of the FSB and chairman of the Home Affairs Policy Unit, a national committee within the FSB.

She said: “Very few forces have this sort of initiative so it’s good to see Sussex are introducing it because over 40 per cent of our members in a survey last year said they didn’t bother to report crime.

“It’s good that it’s a police initiative that will impact on crime recording.”