What is business crime?

The national definition adopted for Business Crime is "any criminal offence where a business, or person in the course of their employment, is the victim".

The National Business Crime Centre is a resource for police and businesses to learn, share and support each other to prevent and combat crime.

Our approach

Working in partnership with local businesses and organisations is key to preventing and tackling business crime.

Business crime single points of contact

Sussex Police business crime single points of contact, made up of nine investigators and a Sergeant who take reports, identify individuals and take positive action.

They enable us to spot emerging trends in business crime and identify repeat offenders, working with neighbourhood policing teams and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships to support businesses and obtain evidence to prosecute offenders.

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 reporting

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.

You can make an ISB at the same time as you make a statement. Find out more and access the IBS form.

As a business owner, manager or staff member, we appreciate that business crime can impact you personally as well.

If you need further support visit:

We aim to make your communities a safer place to live where businesses can thrive.

Find further advice on keeping your business safe on our Crime Prevention pages.

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.

In an emergency always dial 999.

If you don’t want to speak to police you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously via their website, on 0800 555 111.