Yob culture and binge drinking were considered leading causes for business–related crime in the survey from AXA, while, worryingly, lack of police presence led to the suggestion that the boys in blue don’t really care about crimes against small businesses.
‘We are encouraged that the number of crime-related claims has decreased but businesses cannot afford to become complacent, particularly over the Christmas period,’ says Neil Mercier, property insurance manager at AXA. ‘At such a busy and stressful time, it’s easy for security issues to be overlooked.’
AXA estimates the costs of crime are rising fast, from £2,109 per incident in 2002 to almost £3,600 in 2004, with the figures not including factors such as disruption to the business, damaged staff morale and loss of reputation.
To combat the effects of crime, AXA offers the following tips:
- Plastic till-guards are a cheap and effective way to prevent till snatches
- Counter caches are lockable containers to be used for temporarily holding bank notes before transferring them to the bank
- Regularly remove cash from till during the day and place it in a safe. This will reduce the amount lost in the event of a hold-up
- Time-delay safes will keep cash safe from all but the most determined thieves
- Be alert when carrying cash to the bank – you are most vulnerable to attack at the beginning and end of your journey
- Vary your route when taking cash to the bank – avoid predictability
- If you are attacked – give up the cash. Never have a go