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New call to tackle crime in the workplace
SMALL business owners in North Yorkshire have appealed for a new category of crime to be introduced, to protect people at work.
The Federation of Small Businesses have proposed a new classification of Business Crime, referring to offences which occur while someone is at work, allowing police to keep better track of offences.
Emma Smales from the FSB said: “When a crime is committed against a business, it’s defined as a crime, but not recorded as being against a business. How do you know how to reduce it when you don’t know how many there are, as they aren’t recorded?
“When domestic violence is recorded, currently that makes police able to record the number of those specific crimes. People think crime against business is faceless, but it’s not, especially against small businesses, it can have a huge effect.”
Incidents which would be classified as business crimes would include mobile businesses suffering abuse or assaults while working, as happened to Kath Turner from Cleana U, a small cleaning business near Scarborough, who was attacked by the neighbour of a client while working in Osgodby about five years ago.
She said: “Someone went round to see him and cautioned him but I got cautioned about parking illegally before anyone got near him. I ended up giving up the customer as I didn’t want to put staff at risk like that. After what happened to me, I can’t allow it to happen to any of my staff. We have had customers being abusive to my staff, and I’ve pulled them out.”
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said the business community should be supported, but the need for a new classification was negligible.
Mrs Mulligan said: “Having been a small business owner myself I am particularly keen to support this particular part of the North Yorkshire community, and help those businesses wherever I can.
"I will continue to support businesses across North Yorkshire to make sure they are getting the same service as ordinary members of the public.
“There are some crimes that are traditionally under-reported or overlooked, and I think many of those are crimes against businesses. We need to get better at supporting the businesses who are victims of these crimes, but that shouldn’t mean classifying the crime any differently, but by ensuring those crimes are reported and dealt with properly.”
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