Increase in crime against Portsmouth businesses

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Armed robbers threaten garage staff with handgun

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CRIME against businesses has increased over a period of nine months, new figures published by police show.

Officers received reports of 984 crimes in Portsmouth involving firms in the last quarter of 2015.

But this has increased to 1,150 in the second quarter of 2016, the latest figures publicly available show.

In the first quarter of the year there were 1,057 crimes recorded against companies.

Crimes include nine arsons, a robbery and 662 shoplifting offences.

A Hampshire police spokesman has moved to reassure firms in the city by saying there is nothing concerning in the rise as it reflects better crime records.

The News reported earlier this year how Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership started to share CCTV images with other BCRPs in a bid to crack down on business crime.

Chief Inspector Patrick Holdaway, who heads Hampshire Constabulary’s business crime initiatives, said: ‘We work closely with local business communities and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, and share intelligence with them.

‘Anything that helps identify criminals, particularly travelling or professional shoplifters is invaluable, and enables us to focus our resources where they can achieve the most benefit.

‘My priority was around the legality of sharing our data through the new data sharing group, and to ensure that the constabulary was not exposed.’

Currently the force shares confidential information with the BCRPs across the area, including in Portsmouth, to fight low-level crime and nuisance.

In Southampton, reported incidents went from 1,186 to 1,348 in the second quarter of this year.

Crime in Gosport has also increased over the last three published quarters from 220 to 196 and 245.

In Fareham incidents have gone from 294 to 337 in the latest figures.

Crimes in Havant went from 405 to 440.