Chamber President Craig McGowan met with Detective Superintendent Ben Lee of the Surrey Police Serious Organised Crime Specialist Crime Command on Monday 20 January. Craig was joined by Haslemere’s mayor, John Robini, to hear how Surrey Police are tackling fraud, cyber crime, money laundering, modern day slavery and prostitution; types of crimes that can often be linked to organised crime rings and which can have a big impact on businesses and communities.
Detective Superintendent Lee described how criminal gangs and organisations are using increasingly sophisticated methods such as digital technology and targeting children and young people to carry out their activities. For many people, serious and organised crime is associated with urban environments, but crime rings are increasingly setting their sights on the opportunities presented by more affluent and rural towns and villages such as Haslemere. Crimes that may appear opportunistic and relatively low-level can often be linked to much bigger operations and local intelligence can help the police identify and deal with these organisations more quickly.
Craig McGowan said: “The Chamber knows that safety and security are priority areas for our members and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to forge closer links with Ben and his team. It’s important that local people can recognise and report the signs of criminal activity and the Chamber wants to help our members take practical, preventative action to safeguard their businesses. Many Chamber members are also local residents and want to make sure that Haslemere is a safe place to live and work. We look forward to being able to share more information about crime reporting and prevention over the coming weeks and months.”