10,000 business crimes listed in eight months

More than 10,000 crimes have been recorded at businesses in the space of eight months this year, new figures show.

The Co-op, Penn Road, Wolverhampton
Police at Co-op on Penn Road after a raid in December

Thefts and burglaries are among the crimes which have led to a surge in cases reported in areas including Wolverhampton and Walsall.

And there has been a spate of raids on shops in the Black Country in recent months.

Co-Op stores in Wolverhampton, Willenhall and Tividale have all been targeted along with a Spar shop in Lanesfield in Wolverhampton.

To crackdown on the problem police are now handing out crime prevention packs which include special DNA sprays that cover criminals in a solution that remains on them for weeks.

The new figures show there have been 10,169 business crimes reported in the Black Country since April this year, an increase of 10 compared to the same spell last year.

However both Wolverhampton and Walsall saw more significant rises, In Wolverhampton 2,859 crimes were recorded an increase of 145 on last year. In Walsall 2,668 crimes were reported, up from 2,516 the previous year.

In Dudley cases went down from 2,356 to 2,067 while in Sandwell there were 2,575 crimes reported, an increase of two on last year.

The crime prevention packs being handed out to convenience stores and petrol stations are being funded through a £5,000 cash injection from money seized by criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Acts.

Superintendent Paul Drover, from Wolverhampton Police, said: “Local retailers who are open early in the morning and late at night are often vulnerable to robbers.

“We have identified hundreds of stores across the area and are helping them beef up security to protect not only their businesses but their staff on the shop floor. We are also deploying officers across the area to patrol hot-spot areas that we have identified and tackle those people who carry out these offences.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to re-invest £5,000 of money seized under POCA to fund this initiative.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Bob Jones, added: “Seizing back the proceeds of crime means that criminals are not able to benefit from the goods and money they have taken.

“The money is being put to excellent use, by spending it on resources that will help prevent further people becoming victims of crime.”