Working in partnership with local businesses and organisations is key to preventing and tackling business crime.
Business Crime Team
Sussex Police has launched its own Business Crime Team (BCT) which is dedicated to tackling business crime and provide support to our business communities.
The team is made up of nine investigators and a sergeant, through existing resources to work smarter and investigate business crime, improve partnership working and tackle this crime type through innovative use of technology.
The investigators cover three areas across Sussex:
Brighton & Hove, Crawley and Mid Sussex
Arun and Chichester, Adur and Worthing and Horsham
Hastings and Rother, Eastbourne and Lewes and Wealden.
The team support the business community by working closely with partners such as the Business Crime Reduction Partnership and Safer Sussex Business Partnership, businesses, and customers.
This is to bring together intelligence from across the county so we can provide crime prevention advice and catch the criminals who are targeting and affecting businesses large and small.
Find out more about the aims of the team and how business crime affects organisations like the Southern Co-op.
Working with partners
The Safer Sussex Business Partnership (SSBP) was set up by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne in February 2020. It brings Sussex Police, local and national retailers and other interested partners together to tackle the root causes of business crime, encourage swifter reporting and find better ways to work collaboratively ensuring we catch prolific offenders and protect businesses.
The SSBP provides Sussex Police with an advisory and resilience forum drawn from the business community so that the force can obtain feedback on crimes affecting businesses across urban and rural locations.
Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)
Sussex Police works in partnership with our local BCRP and BIDs located at Chichester, Bognor Regis, Worthing, Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Crawley and Manor Royal. These crime reduction initiatives bring business members together with partner agencies, including local authorities, to prevent and reduce crime sometimes also deploying wardens to enhance security for those businesses
One Touch Reporting
One Touch Reporting allows businesses to report crime to Sussex Police without the need to repeat information.
This is working initially with 22 Co-op stores to simplify reporting for business crime; deliver greater intelligence, identify trends and reduce the impact of repeat offenders.
Digital Evidence Management System (DEMs)
DEMs is an easy way to upload video evidence to the cloud and email it to police. Find out more about uploading video evidence here.
DISC supports rural businesses as a secure and effective way to flag suspicious activity and share intelligence. It provides closer engagement with local policing and local communities and offers an alternative to ringing 101 or reporting online as members can use the mobile DISC app to report intelligence or crime.
No one should be abused just for doing their job.
Abuse and violence towards shopworkers is a bigger problem than many people think, with the 2021 Crime Report from the Association of Convenience Stores showing that at least 400 shopworkers across the UK are abused every day.
One of our main focusses is supporting retail workers and preventing retail violence. Our aims are to improve reporting, catch prolific offenders, and work closely with businesses to improve their overall security.
Sussex Police also supports campaigns such as ShopKind, a national campaign funded by the Home Office to help tackle the rise in verbal abuse and physical attacks on shopworkers. The campaign urges the public to be mindful of retail workers' essential role, and emphasises that we should all treat workers and customers with respect, kindness and gratitude. We support this campaign encouraging the reporting of incidents in the retail sector, alongside operational activity.
To ensure we can progress your report of shoplifting more efficiently:
Keep the CCTV footage – Ensure you have CCTV that captures the whole offence. Save the footage somewhere it won’t get lost or deleted.
Save still images – If the suspect is unidentified, find the best quality CCTV still image. The images needs to be clear for someone to identify the suspect.
Identify witnesses – If you know who saw what happened or can possibly identify any suspects by name, tell us so we can follow up with them.
Have a single point of contact – Nominate someone who is available to discuss the report. Once a crime is allocated an investigator we aim to follow up as quickly as possible. As time passes CCTV opportunities and witnesses are harder to trace.
Keep in contact – If we don’t hear back from you after repeated contact we will not be able to progress your report. If you do not wish to progress the investigation please tell us.
If you have been the victim of a crime as an individual, like a threat or an assault, you can make a Victim Impact Statement detailing how it has affected you. This also applies if it occurs whilst you were at work or in the course of employment, for example as a shopworker. Find out more at gov.uk
A business can provide an Impact Statement for Business (ISB). This is an opportunity to set out the impact the crime has had on your business such as direct financial loss, as well as wider impacts, for example operational disruption or reputational damage. The court will take the statement into account when determining sentence. All businesses and enterprises (including charities but excluding public sector bodies), of any size may make an ISB.
Sussex is a safe place to live and work, and we take reports of business crime seriously in Sussex so that it continues to be. If you're concerned or have information, you can report online or via 101.