Crime costs small firms £13,500 a year

Businesses pay on average £13,500 for crimes against them each year, with these acts accounting for 20 per cent of all recorded offences in the UK, new figures claim.

A survey of the 8,700 members of the Federation of Small Businesses finds two-thirds of small firms are the victim of crime each year, a rise of seven per cent in the past two years.

The organisation states the offences range from vandalism and vehicle damage to shoplifting and burglary.

Dr Gary Packham, head of enterprise at Glamorgan University, who compiled the report on behalf of the FSB, says the cost of these criminal acts is ‘a significant burden’ on a small firm.

John Walker, national policy chairman of the FSB, says the figures may be a lot higher as less than half of the firms questioned reported the incidents.

‘We cannot allow small businesses to continue to be victims of the forgotten fifth of all recorded crime. What we need to see is the local police directly engaging with the business community to encourage people to report crimes,’ he adds.

Bath, in the south of England, was recently given the Safer Business Award for the work of its Crime Reduction Partnerships.

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