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Justice Secretary Chris Grayling strengthens support to victims of commercial crime after visiting Thurrock

Last week Justice Secretary Chris Grayling launched a consultation on a new Victims code.  The new code is intended to ensure that criminal justice agencies focus their resources to support victims of the most serious crimes.  And for the first time the Courts will be expected to consider the impact on commercial victims of crime when trying cases. The change follows Chris Grayling’s visit to West Thurrock last year when local MP Jackie Doyle-Price briefed him on the impact of metal theft and vandalism on owners of small businesses.



Chris said, “Four months ago I made a promise. This time it was to the owner of a small business, introduced to me by his energetic MP Jackie Doyle Price. He told me how his business was under constant threat from gangs of thieves, and that his job and those of his staff were increasingly in jeopardy. I promised him we would take business crime seriously too.  In future we will put the victims of business crime first too. That small business by the Thames in Thurrock sits in the shadow of a much bigger factory. But it is the small businesses, not the big ones which are the real bedrock of our economy. And to them the impact of business crime can be enormous.

The loss of a single piece of equipment might only amount to a few hundred pounds. But to that small organisation it can mean the difference between hitting a deadline and keeping a customer, or missing the deadline and losing that customer. The theft of a pile of raw metal products by scrap thieves can be the difference between making and losing money. And yet in Court, that theft is often treated as a minor misdemeanour, with little recognition of the impact on business and jobs.

So for the first time we will be saying that all businesses can give to the Court full details of the impact of a crime on their financial position and on their employees. That impact statement will give our Courts a real sense of the damage business crime is causing, so that they can deal with it in the toughest possible way.”

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said, “I am delighted that Chris has acted so promptly to strengthen the rights of victims of commercial crime.  It is heartbreaking to see people who are working hard and going the right thing see their spirit knocked out of them when they fall victim to theft and vandalism.  Metal theft is hitting small businesses, costing jobs and damaging growth.  We promised those businesses in West Thurrock that we would act and we are delivering what we promised.  I am glad that those businesses took time to contact me and that it did lead to action.


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