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Express & Star Crime Survey: Business confidence in police is ‘at highest level for many years’

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

Confidence in policing is at its highest level for many years, claims a business leader in Wolverhampton in the wake of the Express & Star’s Crime Survey.

Anna-Maria McAuliffe

More than 10,000 people across the Black Country and Staffordshire responded to the survey online and in print.

The results, published yesterday, revealed 87 per cent of people did not believe police were doing a good job tackling crime, while 72 per cent said they had little confidence a reported crime would be solved.

It also showed more than half of respondents ‘never’ see a police patrol in their area. A total of 10 questions were in the survey.

Anna-Maria McAuliffe, director at McAuliffe Group UK, brownfield experts, described the results of the survey as ‘extremely negative’.

She is chair of the Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group, set up two years ago to help fight crime in the city

Ms McAuliffe said: “This [the survey] is not a reflection of the business community in Wolverhampton and I would be interested in the reference data of those who responded.

“Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group has worked very closely with West Midlands Police over the past two years, understanding what business crime is and its effect on the business and surrounding community.

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“A lot of good work has been done and some fantastic results achieved by putting in place solutions and support to reduce the impact of crime.”

Ms McAuliffe also praised officers working in Wolverhampton, adding she hoped their achievements would not be impacted by funding cuts.

The force has faced cuts of £145 million since 2010, losing 2,000 officers. Ms McAuliffe said: “The passion of everyone at West Midlands Police that we have had contact with is amazing and the officers deserve our thanks and appreciation for their dedication to keeping the business and people of Wolverhampton safe.

“We are all fully aware of the public spending cuts and West Midlands Police has suffered greatly due to this.

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“Even with these increased cuts the Police and Crime Commissioner has remained dedicated to keeping West Midlands Police’s PCSOs who are the face of the police within the community and very important to neighbourhood policing.

“Due to the work Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group has been undertaking with West Midlands Police, Wolverhampton’s fire service and the local council the level of confidence in policing amongst the business community is at its highest level for many years.”

She added “Police work hard with Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group to support business to help prevent them from becoming victims in the first place but to provide support to those businesses that have been victims of crime.

"The business community of Wolverhampton need police to be able to continue supporting business at the level that we have seen over the past two years and hopefully not see this suffer due to further cuts.

“Also, the business community needs to help itself and rally together to see what solutions they can work on together to prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime.”

Schemes run between the crime reduction group and police include Facewatch, which is an application for mobile phones and tablets, allowing businesses to view images of suspected criminals.

Firms can also report crimes and provide statements over the application.

Express & Star editor Keith Harrison said the results of the survey were not intended to be scientific, but to give a snapshot of public opinion.

“With more than 10,000 responses, I think it achieves this aim, even if the results are unpalatable in certain quarters,” he added.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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