SPECIALISTS are to be brought in to help curb crimes against businesses.
Regional advisers will be employed throughout England and Wales under a new Government scheme launched by Home Office minister Hazel Blears.
They will encourage companies to get involved in existing crime-reduction partner- ships and schemes and provide support and advice to firms on cutting crime.
The advisers - including one for Yorkshire - will also tackle retail crime and fraud.
A new team at the Home Office will implement the strategy, which was developed after public consultation suggested that small and medium-sized firms - along with retailers - were the most worried about crime against them.
Business leaders in Huddersfield have been calling for such crimes to be made a priority for many months.
The Aspley-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has discussed the matter several times.
Chamber spokeswoman Roz Catlow welcomed the appointment of regional advisers, but said: "Yorkshire is the biggest county and we don't think one adviser is enough.
"The system may work for smaller counties, but we want to see an exception made to appoint an adviser specifically for West Yorkshire."
Ms Catlow added: "Businesses are not that interested in getting involved in initiatives.
"They want to be able to report a crime and know that the matter will be followed up.
"Businesses are already doing their best to prevent repeat attacks on their premises."
But Ms Catlow said firms would welcome moves to keep more reliable statistics on business crime.
The Government's 2002 Commercial Victimisation Survey said crime against shops and manufacturers had fallen since the last survey in 1994 and the smallest firms experienced lower levels of crime than others.
But it said that crime against businesses was still a concern.