Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Commissioner's new initiative to crack down on Business Crime
Tackling business crime in Hertfordshire was top of the agenda for the inaugural meeting of a new business advisory group for the county. Hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, the Independent Business Advisory Group (IBAG) brought together a range of businesses from sectors such as the rural community, retail, leisure, technology and professional services along with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to discuss key issues around business crime.
 
Key representatives from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Team and the Cyber and Financial Investigation Unit gave the group key insights into the challenges around Cybercrime and Fraud, and what they can do to better protect their businesses.  
 
The meeting was chaired by Neville Reyner,CBE DL Chairman of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, with Constabulary Community Safety Manager Julie Lloyd delivering a roundup of figures and stats specifically on business crime. She also outlined support available to tackle business crime, which makes up one in five recorded crimes here in Hertfordshire.
 
The afternoon led to some lively discussion around the definition of business crime, the ‘disruption’ to businesses in terms of hours lost, additional costs and physical loss to those who fall victim to crime and various measures already in play such as ShopWatch which allows direct conversation between retailers to share information. The group were also updated on the recently revitalised Business Watch scheme which shares the latest crime and prevention advice to over 5,000 Hertfordshire businesses. The focus of the first IBAG was Fraud and Cybercrime.
 
Reflecting on a positive inaugural meeting, Commissioner Lloyd said: “Crime can have a devastating impact on businesses – it wastes working time, leads to financial losses and most importantly impact on staff well-being. Businesses based in Hertfordshire are vital for the prosperity of the county and so the consequences of business crime affect us all. The IBAG provides a round table to discuss the very latest business crime issues and advice, underpinning the notion that tackling business crime remains to be ‘Everyone’s Business’ here in Hertfordshire.”
 
Appointed Chair of the Group Neville Reyner added: “Independent and open business forums such as the IBAG allow not only encourage the sharing of information, but the opportunity to collaborate, learn and invest this pooled knowledge for the benefit of the wider business community. By communicating and sharing experiences we create preventative measures to ensure Hertfordshire is a ‘safe county of opportunity’ for local business.”
 
Hosted by the Office of the Police Commissioner, the Advisory Group was born from the Commissioner’s Business Crime Survey, the findings of which are the basis for his business crime strategy  ‘Tackling Business Crime Together’. After a successful first meeting delegates are encouraged to feedback and consider where new faces could add something to the group for the next re-group later this summer.
 
For further information on the Independent Business Advisory Group contact Nathan Davies, Policy Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 01707 806150 or email commissioner@herts.pnn.police.uk.