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PCC hosts second Annual Business Conference

PCC hosts second Annual Business Conference

Fraud and retail crime amongst items discussed at Bedfordshire PCC’s Annual Business Conference

Over 35 businesses attended the second annual business conference hosted by Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, on Tuesday.  

The event, held at Flitwick’s Rufus Centre, allowed local business owners to engage with the PCC and Bedfordshire Police, giving them a chance to share and be reassured about their concerns around business crime such as retail theft and fraud. 

So far this year in Bedfordshire, a crackdown on shoplifting in top locations has led to the solve rate of reported crimes tripling since January last year.  

A targeted enforcement, officially known as Op Belleville was recently launched by Beds Police and backed by the Police and Crime Commissioner.  

The PCC shared plans for a retail crime portal, which will allow retailers to submit evidence to accompany their reported crimes and track their progress digitally.  

Being able to work closely with local businesses allows the police to gather as much intelligence as possible and continue to arrest offenders.  

Mr Akinbusoye said “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet our business communities and hear first-hand from them, their concerns. 

“Feedback so far has been phenomenal, and I know how much our local business owners benefited from hearing from our guest speakers. I hope this event will go some way in reassuring them that together, we will continue to crack down on retail crime. 

“I will continue to support and advocate for local people and businesses who want to work with Bedfordshire Police in keeping our county safer.” 

Retailers also heard from the Federations of Small Business and the Crown Prosecution Service. 

The PCC recently met with community policing teams, Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and some local businesses as he pledged to crack down on retail crime.

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