Nearly 600 Merton businesses hit by crime this year
Merton shopkeepers should be issued with DNA sprays to use against thieves and robbers, says Richard Tracey, London Assembley Member for Merton and Wandsworth.
Mr Tracey said 573 businesses in Merton have been hit by thieves and robbers this year.
He has highlighted a new report on tackling small business crime, "High Street Blues", reveals 28,889 reported robberies and thefts against London’s businesses in 2013, working out to 80 a day.
The report recommends preventative measures such as handing out DNA sprays to small businesses, as part of crime prevention kits, and establishing a digital crime mapping database, which identifies crime trends and hotspots, ultimately helping police gather evidence and target their resources more effectively.
Mr Tracey said: "Small businesses are the pillars of our high-streets, town centres and local communities, and contribute significantly to Merton’s economy. Unfortunately, many are plagued with persistent crime such as theft and robbery.
"Distributing DNA sprays, that cover criminals with a solution for a few days after the incident, would act as an effective deterrent. It would mean that the Met would save money, as if the crime doesn't happen in the first place, officers wouldn’t need to spend their time on investigations and the court process. By being proactive and deterring thieves and robbers, our small businesses will be able to thrive in a safe environment."
March 7, 2014