Justice Minister David Ford has highlighted the significant work ongoing within his Department and across the criminal justice sector to tackle business crime.
Speaking during an Assembly motion on the issue David Ford said: “As Justice Minister and Chair of the Organised Crime Taskforce I am acutely aware of the impact that business crime can have, not just on the individual retailer but also on the wider community, and am committed to doing all I can to tackle this serious issue.
“Business crime – in whatever guise, whether cybercrime, fraud, counterfeit currency, intellectual property crime, shoplifting, theft or criminal damage – cannot be tackled by the business community or the criminal justice system working in isolation. Partnership working is essential if sustainable solutions are to be developed.
“At a strategic level this involves working with representatives from the business community and law enforcement bodies. At a local level Policing and Community Safety Partnerships engage with the local community to ensure issues of concern, including where appropriate business crime, are taken into account when they are shaping their local Action Plans.”
“In this financial year much has been achieved by my Department, the PSNI and our delivery partners in relation to business crime. This includes: the production and distribution of a retail crime reduction guide; the roll out of the PSNI Safe Shop Scheme; frontline education for over 150 delegates through the Retailers Against Crime conference; and a new text-alert and dedicated email system to facilitate the flow of information with representatives from the business community. We have also supported a number of initiatives specifically targeted at the rural business community.”
The Minister added: “What is central to today’s debate and of paramount importance is the harm which business crime has on its victims. Far from being a victimless crime, it affects the profitability of businesses and the cost of the goods we buy in shops every day.
“I can assure the business community and the wider public that we will continue to work to address business crime and bring those responsible to justice.”