Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Crime-Hit Shop Owners 'Feel Let Down by Met Police Response'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Crime-Hit Shop Owners 'Feel Let Down by Met Police Response'

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor

THE majority of shops hit by crime in London found the police unhelpful when they filed a report, it was claimed today.

London Assembly Tories said a study showed that 64 per cent of shop owners felt the police had not taken their claim seriously and in future would not bother reporting crimes. Researchers found there was a "lack of faith" across the capital in the Met's ability to deliver justice for small businesses.

The report, High Street Blues, revealed there were 28,889 reported robberies and thefts, including shoplift-ing, against London's businesses last year the equivalent of 80 every day.

Westminster topped the list of incidents with 3,044, followed by Croydon on 1,247 and Hammersmith and Fulham, with 1,236. The boroughs with the lowest retail crime levels were Richmond on 488, Harrow with 501 and Barking and Dagenham on 573 last year. The Tory research, involving indepth interviews with 32 small businesses across the capital as well as Met police data, found that 94 per cent of shop owners had been affected by crime in the past year.

Almost half of those interviewed had been victims of severe crimes such as burglary, verbal and physical assault.

Tory Assembly member Roger Evans suggested the police should hand out DNA sprays, as part of crime prevention kits, to shop owners which would cover criminals with solution for days afterwards.

His report also called for a digital crime-mapping database, which would identify crime trends and hotspots, ultimately helping police gather evidence and target their resources. Mr Evans said: "Shopkeepers and traders across London tell me that they don't have faith in the police's ability to deliver justice, if they fall victim to crime." Met police data shows that crimes listed as business robbery have seen a drop of 48 per cent since 2010. …

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