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Businesses get chance to join revolution in victim support

BUSINESS owners across Devon and Cornwall are being asked to sign up to a new scheme which helps crime victims.

Businesses that are already members of the Trading Standards’ Buy With Confidence scheme have been invited to become a ‘trusted provider’ of services to victims of crime.

In April 2015 Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg will take over responsibility for commissioning victims’ services and this new initiative sees the OPCC team up with Devon and Cornwall Business Council (DCBC) and Trading Standards to create a trusted link between victims and businesses.

A key element of the new system will be an on-line directory of services giving victims immediate access to help when they need it most.

Trading Standards’ approved Buy With Confidence members are already accredited to a high standard so victims can access trusted, locally delivered services which is quick and easy to find.

“The work we are doing will put the needs of victims on a brand new footing,” said Mr Hogg.

“By working closely with Trading Standards and Buy With Confidence members it means that, if we put a victim in touch with a provider, they can have confidence that they are dealing with an organisation that cares about its customers and will treat them in an honest and fair way.

“It also gives us chance to work with the Devon and Cornwall Business Council in order to ensure that members of the wider business community are looking out for their own security, be that on-line or more traditional crime prevention methods.”

Buy With Confidence is a natural partner for the OPCC in its new victim support role.

It was set up in 2008 as a response to concerns about rogue traders and now has over 500 members across the south west.

“Buy With Confidence provides a directory of good, honest, reliable businesses that have been fully vetted and audited by Trading Standards. It means people can go to them and expect high levels of customer service,” said Rachael Holden, Buy With Confidence lead for Trading Standards.

“It covers a multitude of trade sectors, not just from tradesmen but also counselling, insurance and marketing services to name a few, and all members have been fully audited by a Trading Standards officer.”

DCBC is keen to ensure that businesses not only apply to become accredited to Buy With Confidencebut also do all they can to prevent themselves from becoming victims.

“We think this an excellent scheme for providing a strong local supply chain as well as focussing quite heavily on businesses affected by crime which is something that we have been calling for, for many years,” said Ben Rhodes, CEO of DCBC.

“Buy With Confidence is a great scheme, some of the protocols that a business has to go through to be accepted onto the scheme will really help a business grow and flourish and potentially open many doors in the future.

“In partnership with the OPCC we are aiming to go even further, providing a sign-posting service and a defined package of support measures provided by other organisations across the peninsula who are willing and able to support businesses that are affected by criminal activity.

“As far as businesses protecting themselves from crime, there is always more that can be done and with some of the on-line crime becoming such a big issue I am pleased there is going to be greater focus on it.”

Businesses that are not Buy With Confidence members but would like to provide services to victims can apply to do so online at: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

In the video  below Tony Hogg outlines the importance of the new scheme to victim support.


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