Firms rising costs as crime soars


Crime against businesses is on the increase and is now costing small firms an average of £13,500 a year, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).


Their revealed that 64% of small firms were victims of crime in the past year – a rise of 7% since 2006. The survey also highlighted that the sectors that experienced the highest levels of crime were hotels and restaurants, and the motor vehicle sales and repairs sector. FSB national policy chairman John Walker said:

“We are concerned that the figures are much higher as our survey indicates that only 45% of firms that experienced crime actually reported it,”

The survey found that the most frequent crime experienced by small firms over the last year was vandalism, followed by vehicle damage, threatening behaviour, graffiti, shoplifting and burglary.

Commenting on the research, insurance firm Premierline’s managing director Chris Little, said:

“Sadly, it is quite common for a business to be targeted more than once within a short period. This is because some businesses make the mistake of promptly replacing the stolen items but not improving their security measures as quickly.”

“Our own research showed that over a third of the SMEs that have experienced an incident have been a victim three times or more,” he added.

Premierline offered business owners the following tips to help prevent their firm falling victim to crime:

  • Carry out a thorough risk assessment to identify where there could be an opportunity for crime, such as insecure cash tills, visible stock, or anti–social behaviour outside your premises.
  • Strengthen doors and windows as a means to delay and discourage burglars from targeting your business.
  • Make sure the outside of the building is adequately illuminated, especially out of business hours.
  • Consider installing access control to monitor entry to the premises, an intruder alarm system and CCTV.

Earlier this year the Home Office warned that crime figures are likely to get worse as the recession takes hold.

Find out how to safeguard your business against crime on the Home Office website

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