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THE Federation of Small Businesses says candidates for the new Police and Crime Commissioner post for Hampshire should reassure local firms that tackling crime against businesses is on their agenda.

The public will decide the new chief on November 15 and the FSB says it is keen to ensure awareness of the importance of business crime.

It says 40 per cent of businesses do not report crime because of a lack of faith in the system of police response, adding FSB research has found crime against business equates to 25 per cent of all crime.

In response it has put together a guidance document for the new commissioner, and the police, to have a ‘positive engagement strategy’ with businesses by recording business crime, providing a public report on the level of business crime in the area, and encouraging local firms to report crime and develop partnerships with small businesses.

Tim Colman, FSB Hampshire and Isle of Wight County chairman, said: ‘Crime against business remains a low priority for the police, and it is often referred to as a victimless crime.

‘This is not the case and the implications of business crime can be catastrophic for the individual, the business and also the local community.

‘We are trying to ensure that the elected PCC will be fully aware, and supportive, of raising the profile of business crime.

‘This current election process is very low profile, and in representing over 7,000 small businesses within Hampshire, we are hugely disappointed that the PCC candidates have not be more eager to engage with us to discuss their intentions of tackling crimes against local small businesses.’