Crime 'could threaten' Scotland's economic recovery

Image caption Businesses are being warned that both the public and private sectors are targets

Commercial crime could threaten the country's economic recovery, Scottish businesses are being warned.

Crimes against business cost at least £15bn a year in the UK, with the private sector particularly at risk.

The warning will be issued at a conference being held at the Scottish Police College in Perthshire.

The Scottish Commercial Crime Group say counterfeit goods, metal theft and even human trafficking have a major impact on the profitability of businesses.

SCCG director Gary Ritchie told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "There are now practices and processes in place in the public sector to ensure that certain areas of business aren't awarded to areas where criminality is known to exploit.

"What we're looking at now is the private sector and we want to learn lessons from the public sector and bring them into the private sector so that criminals find it difficult to infiltrate both."

Measures in the public sector have included tight procurement regulations, meaning criminal organisations cannot easily win contracts in areas such as security and cleaning.

The conference at the college in Tulliallan will also cover bribery and corruption, payment card fraud, forged goods and intellectual property.

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