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28 November 2008

FSB: The cost of crime against business soars to £13,500 for each firm

Reference number: PR/2008/86

FSB News Release

Issue date: Friday 28 November 2008

FSB: The cost of crime against business soars to £13,500 for each firm

Small businesses lose an average of £13,500 each because of crime every year, while more than two thirds of businesses are victims of crime, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Results from the FSB’s biennial survey show that two thirds of businesses were victims of crime over the past year – a figure that has risen by seven per cent to 64 per cent over the past two years.

The survey of 8,700 members also showed that the most frequent crime experienced by UK businesses over the past year was vandalism, followed by vehicle damage, threatening behaviour, graffiti, shoplifting and burglary.

The survey, entitled Putting the economy back on track: Crimes against business, also showed that hotels and restaurants, along with motor vehicle sales and repair sectors, experienced the highest level of crime.
Crimes against businesses make up a significant 20 per cent – or the ‘forgotten fifth’ – of all recorded crime in the UK.


Dr Gary Packham, Head of Enterprise at Glamorgan University, where the report was compiled, said:

“Crime against businesses is a very serious issue, as the figures show. A cost of £13,354 every year is a significant burden to a small firm and one the small and medium sized business sector should not have to continue to bear.”


John Walker, FSB National Policy Chairman, said:

“We cannot allow small businesses to continue to be victims of the forgotten fifth of all recorded crime. The FSB is also concerned that the figures are much higher as our survey indicates that only around 45 per cent of firms that experienced crime actually reported it and the majority were not aware of local crime reduction methods.

“What we need to see is the local police directly engaging with the business community to encourage people to report crimes. Police authorities should also set local targets and strategies to deal with these problems on a local level.”