West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner hosts seminar for small businesses on scams

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mark Burns-Williamson Mark Burns-Williamson

The man who heads up policing in West Yorkshire says helping small businesses avoid scams and cyber crime is vital to help secure jobs in the region.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, and the Business Crime Reduction Centre are now joining forces to show businesses how to beat the scammers.

An event has been organised to help small and medium-sized businesses in Yorkshire by giving them advice on how to avoid falling victim to scams and protect themselves against cyber attacks.

The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that fraud and online crime costs each firm £4,000 a year, with at least 37 per cent of small businesses trading online.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Thriving businesses are a key feature of any healthy community and if we are to improve people’s lives and create jobs in West Yorkshire we need local businesses to develop and do well.

“Working with partners to ensure that crime prevention is at the forefront of all our efforts to reduce the opportunity for business crime is essential, as is educating businesses on how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

“I also want to agree a definition for business crime to allow police and partners to identify the real impact, and I know that well-trained staff and awareness of risks are key to preventing crime from happening.”

The free event, on Thursday, June 5 at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground, will teach businesses how to protect themselves and staff from crime with free solutions, explain why small businesses are increasingly suffering from cyber attacks and share the latest scams targeting local businesses.

The day will demonstrate how trained and aware staff are the best line of defence against crime.

It is estimated by Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Bureaux that nearly half of people in the UK have been targeted by a scam.

Mr Burns-Williamson and the Business Crime Reduction Centre are supporting Scams Awareness Month, which is about giving consumers the information, skills and confidence to spot and stop scams. Scammers are more frequently targeting businesses for a larger pay-off. These scams occur online, over the phone, through the post and even on the business’ doorstep.

BCRC’s director, David Ransom, said: “This partnership provides us with the opportunity to strengthen the fight against criminals in the region.”

To register for the event call (0114) 2751283 or visit bcrc-uk.org/events.

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