A new action plan to tackle crime within the business community has been jointly launched by Justice Minister, Claire Sugden and Anne Connolly, Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
The Business Crime Plan Action Plan has been developed in partnership with the Department of Justice, the Policing Board, the PSNI and the business community
Speaking at the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium 5th Anniversary Reception Minister Sugden said: “The impact of business crime should not be underestimated. Far from being a victimless crime, it affects the profitability of businesses and the cost of the goods we buy in shops every day. My Department has been working in partnership with relevant statutory and non-statutory stakeholders to tackle this issue over many years and it is one of the strands of work outlined in the Community Safety Strategy.
“That continued partnership working is essential if sustainable solutions are to be developed. I therefore welcome the commitment from the business community to work with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to develop a cohesive approach to reduce the impact and cost of crime on businesses. The action plan being published today is another positive step in the ongoing fight against business crime.”
Welcoming the new plan Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “We have listened to the views of the business community, the impact that crimes has on lives and livelihoods and the types of measures that need to be taken to reduce crimes in this sector.
“Success in the delivery of this plan is dependent on continued collaboration with the business community and it is vital that as wide a network of people as possible are aware of this plan, and the work being done, in partnership with the business community, to deliver on it.”
Discussing the new action plan, Chief Superintendent Chris Noble, PSNI lead for Business Crime and Engagement said: “We have been working in partnership with Department of Justice, Northern Ireland Policing Board and the business community to develop a business crime action plan for Northern Ireland. The plan will help us to improve our strategic partnership working within the business sector throughout Northern Ireland.
“This is a collaborative approach whereby responsibility in dealing with business crime rests on all our shoulders. We recognise that businesses are at the heart of prosperous communities and we will continue to work with our strategic partners to implement the recommendations set out in the business crime action plan.”
Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said: “This action plan is a testament to the collaborative work of the Department of Justice, the PSNI, the Policing Board and the business community. It will make a real tangible difference to our industry and others. It will make our high streets and towns not only safer, but a better place to invest and do business for everyone from the corner shop to the large multi-national retailer.”