29k reported crimes against businesses in 2013: DNA sprays for shops and traders would deter criminals

A new report on tackling small business crime, High Street Blues, reveals 28,889 reported robberies and thefts against London’s businesses in 2013. 80 businesses are hit by thieves and robbers every day in London.

The top 3 boroughs with incidents are: Westminster (3,044), Croydon (1,247) and Hammersmith & Fulham (1,236).

The report recommends preventative measures such as handing out DNA sprays to small businesses, as part of crime prevention kits, and establishing a digital crime mapping database, which identifies crime trends and hotspots, ultimately helping police gather evidence and target their resources more effectively.

Report author and GLA Conservatives crime spokesman, Roger Evans, said:

Roger-opinion“Small businesses are the pillar of our high-streets, town centres and local communities, and contribute significantly to London’s economy. Unfortunately, many are plagued with persistent crime such as theft and robbery. Shop keepers 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. Distributing DNA sprays, that cover criminals with a solution for a few days after the incident, would act as an effective deterrent. It would mean that the Met would save money, as if the crime doesn’t happen in the first place, officers wouldn’t need to spend their time on investigations and the court process. By being proactive and deterring thieves and robbers, our small businesses will be able to thrive in a safe environment.”

“High Street Blues” also includes in-depth interviews with 32 shops and traders*. 94% (30) have suffered crime more than once. Of these, 47% (14) have suffered from serious crime such as burglary and violence, while 77% (23) have been victims of theft. When it comes to reporting these crimes, 73% (22) of victims say they would not bother going to the police either because they feel it is a pointless exercise, or because they have found the police response unhelpful in the past.


Marco Genovesi works in a clothes shop called Gekko in Camden:

“Three people came into our shop and attempted to steal one of our mannequins. When I tried to apprehend them, they attacked me. I reported the incident to the police but unfortunately nothing could be done. In another incident, when I caught a thief, I reported the incident to the police but they told they couldn’t do anything. The police’s explanation was that it was not in the public interest prosecute him. When it was all over, they didn’t even supply me with a contact number to keep track of what they were doing.”



Click here to download the report

Or can be accessed or shared with www.glaconservatives.co.uk/hsb


* Our research; As well as collecting data from the Met, we also conducted qualitative research through 32 in-depth interviews with business owners, over the telephone, from City Hall in January 2014. The 32 businesses are located in boroughs of London: Islington, Camden, Haringey, Croydon, Enfield, Barnet, Westminster, Hackney, Southwark, Richmond, Merton, Kensington and Chelsea.