Retailers including Argos and Iceland have teamed up to fund a new initiative that aims to tackle serious and organised crime.

The scheme aims to encourage the sharing of intelligence from across constabularies to paint a clearer picture of crime.

The Business Crime Intelligence Bureau (BCIB) is a not-for-profit private sector initiative formed as a “response to the growing numbers of unsolved crimes due to budget and resource challenges for police forces”.

The initiative, funded by retailers including the Co-operative Group, is supported by organisations including the Home Office and the Serious Organised Crime Agency as well as Regional Intelligence Units across the UK.

Traditionally there has been a lack of business crime intelligence being shared between neighbouring constabularies, resulting in a lack of a broad national footprint of organised criminal activity.

However, this initiative aims to share data on crimes, to provide police with “‘gift-wrapped’ cases to prosecute” and to give businesses the tools to map organised crime and “even predict where gangs may strike in the future”, according to the BCIB.

Argos head of profit protection John Prior said the BCIB would allow retailers to “analyse and link the intelligence and allow businesses and police to collaborate and catch these serious and organised criminals as currently, as a collective, none of us have visibility of the extent of the crime”.