Local businesses are being urged to take part in a retail crime survey so local authorities can develop a strategy for addressing retail crime in the city.
CityWatch Lisburn is undertaking this crime audit for the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.
It will give local business owners the opportunity to voice their concerns and experiences in terms of retail crime.
The survey findings will then be used to develop a new and innovative Retail Crime Strategy involving the PSNI, Retailers Against Crime NI, the Chamber of Commerce, Retailers and other key stakeholders.
The aim is for the survey to reveal the big picture in the city in terms of what crimes are happening, where they are taking place and what is the true cost of retail crime in Lisburn.
Speaking at the launch in Alfredos, Lisburn, Brendan Smith who is working with Lisburn Commerce against Crime, said the survey will reveal the needs of businesses in Lisburn and ultimately shape an accurate response strategy.
He said: “This is really about identifying local needs, the nuts and bolts of what is affecting the retailers of Lisburn. It is important to get the survey to as many retailers as possible to get more view points.
“Then the plan will respond to the needs through a series of concise actions. The strategy is about looking at the needs and then looking at what needs to be done.
“We will then pull the survey findings together for a draft report. The more responses we have then the more reliable the data.”
The strategy is funded by the Lisburn and Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
Alderman Michael Henderson from the PCSP said they were looking forward to the outcome of the audit and he believed it would highlight the real needs of local business owners.