Boris Johnson unveils new police strategy to protect SMEs from cybercrime

Mayor of London announced new crime strategy to help companies ward off fraud and cybercrime in the capital

Boris Johnson unveils new police strategy to protect SMEs from cybercrime

We all have that one family member who cheats at Monopoly. A game used to teach children the realities of business is often exploited by someone who will take $500 from the bank when you pop out the room to refresh your drink. With no way of proving the devious act, you just have to pay out when you land on their hotels and wonder why you get beat every single time.

While the Monopoly police are currently conspicuous by their absence, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has announced a raft of new measures to tackle the growing problem of fraud and cyber-crime for businesses in the capital. London’s first ever business crime strategy looks to restore confidence in policing methods and tackle the growing threat of cyber-crime, which cost the UK economy an estimated £52bn in 2013.

A British Retail Consortium (BRC) survey earlier this year found that in 2013 many companies in London did not report every crime committed against them because of a lack of faith in the police. With just 0.1% of the 81,631 reported frauds in London ending in a successful judicial outcome it is easy to understand why. As a result, the mayor is calling for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to work more closely with businesses, local authorities and other organisations to tackle this issue.

With the launch of England’s first Business Resilience Centre in January 2015, special care is being taken to help SMEs protect themselves from crime. The BRC report also showed that smaller business can be more vulnerable to crime as they have fewer preventative resources at their disposal. Given that 80% of fraud can be avoided with the correct security in place – according to the BRC – the government plans to create business-to-business alerts and distribute crime prevention advice to face this problem head-on.

The mayor has also announced that a new economic crime unit will be set up to support businesses and individuals targeted by fraudsters. This will be accompanied by the introduction of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships to tackle business crime in the capital’s hot spots and use predictive crime mapping to asses future business crime areas. Furthermore, a London Business Crime Summit will convene to track the strategy’s progress alongside the first ever London Business Attitudes Survey, which will collect information on business confidence from 6,000 companies in the city.

“Businesses choose the capital for its low crime rate and thrive under its rule of law. But we know that business crime can be under-reported whilst criminals are becoming more sophisticated,” said Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.

“The capital’s first ever strategy is set to ensure law enforcement and other agencies are a step ahead, working hand in hand with businesses to reduce the impact and cost of crime against them, their staff and the communities they trade in. The goal is to ensure London is the safest city in the world to do business.” 

James Dyble
James Dyble

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