Crimestoppers Scotland has launched its new #ClosedtoCrime campaign by asking the public to report suspicious behaviour to ensure businesses can open in the future.

It comes as attacks on ATMs, supermarkets, factories and warehouses among crimes that harm local businesses, disrupting services and employment prospects have broken out during lockdown.

With restrictions slowly easing ; the charity is using the opportunity to connect with communities and companies by appealing for people to report anonymously what they know about crime against commercial outlets.

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As local shops and businesses try to cope with the devastating financial impact of the pandemic, the last costly disruption they need is having premises ransacked, with essential items stolen. Fly-tipping and fire-raising can also seriously impact a company’s ability to reopen

The #ClosedtoCrime campaign aims to raise awareness and drive people to report what they know about crime against local businesses, from shops to company premises, factories to warehouses.

Rodger Holden, director of business development at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Local businesses play an essential role in providing services and employment to the local and wider community.

“But as shops, warehouses and factories are closed or struggling to return to normal with reduced opening hours due to the pandemic, criminals are exploiting the crisis by breaking into commercial premises. Fire-raising attacks and fly-tipping are also incredibly harmful as the company has to incur significant costs. This could affect their future stability even further.

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“You can help keep shops and local industry open for business but #ClosedtoCrime. Please keep your eyes and ears open, and if you see or hear anything, or know someone involved in commercial burglary, arson or fly-tipping, please speak up. People’s jobs and local services depend on it. If you know something, please contact our charity and tell us what you know whilst staying 100% anonymous. Always.”

The charity is asking for information about the following:

Someone who has planned or is planning to commit a burglary against a business, planned break-ins – where and when?

Who’s selling stolen goods, and where? Large scale fly-tipping (such as lorries dumping rubbish) and hazardous waste

Anyone who has any information can call 0800 555 111 or use the online form