Police make arrests to tackle crime against small businesses

The city’s police force continue to work hard to tackle the recent spike in crime affecting local small businesses in Southsea and Milton. 

In recent months a number of local traders and cafes have been broken into with equipment and goods taken and money stolen from tills.

Following the local force prioritising this issue, three people have been arrested after two further shops and a cafe were burgled in the city last week.

Two males were seen by the police breaking into Jamocha Café in Elm Grove on Wednesday and arrested on suspicion of burglary other than dwelling – theft. The burglary is being linked to another at Waitrose in Marmion Road.

Stephen Morgan MP has been working with the local police team and George Fielding, a Southsea community activist, to ensure such crimes continue to be prioritised and tackled and small businesses assured.

Meetings with local business leaders have been taking place with more planned with the local police. On Friday Stephen met with Southsea’s Neighbourhoods Inspector for an update and discuss what further action will be taken by the Constabulary.

Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The increase in burglaries at the premises of small businesses across our great city is completely unacceptable.

Local businesses are the bedrock of the economy in Portsmouth and I stand with them in their concern over the increase in these crimes.

I am grateful for the hard work of our local police force in tackling this very important issue. With limited resources they are doing the best they can.

I have also written to the Home Secretary to make sure this issue is taken seriously by Government”.

George Fielding said:

“What the offenders don’t realise is that these are not victimless crimes. Behind small businesses are people’s livelihoods and important local jobs.

I have been chatting to a number of small businesses in my community of Southsea and will continue to work with them to help bring an end to the recent spike in crime affecting them. 

Together as a community we must continue to support local traders who do so much for our city’s economy”.

The recent spate of crime targeting business in Portsmouth comes following the announcement last week that police-recorded crime in England and Wales has risen by 10% – the largest annual rise for a decade. 

The National Police Chief’s Council voiced its concern that this rise in crime is coinciding with a reduction in police workforce numbers. 

Chief Constable Simon Byrne, the National Police Chief’s Council’s lead for Criminal Justice, said:

“The 10 per cent rise in police recorded crime causes us concern, particularly when the number of police officers is at its lowest since 1985.

Fighting crime is core to what we do, but we need government support to stabilise our funding and to encourage key partners to do all they can to help us prevent crime.”

Anyone with information about recent crimes affecting small businesses in the city should contact the police in the usual way by calling 101.