FPB urges businesses to report offences

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is warning that soaring crime against businesses ravages the communities they serve and could cause many firms to fold.

Following a survey of the ̵6;invisible crime̵7; against businesses, in which 80 per cent of respondents said they were worried about crime on their doorsteps, the FPB is calling for better protection in order to encourage more small firms to report offences.

According to Home Office statistics, the total cost of crime against businesses has increased by almost 20 per cent since 2004 ̵1; from 10.5 billion to £12.6 billion. However, 28 per cent of firms ̵1; double the amount in 2004 ̵1; are not reporting all of the crimes committed against them in the past 12 months.

While more than a third of businesses who took part in the survey, carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), claimed they would not report an incident due to the lack of confidence in a suitable police response, two thirds suggested that they would consider not reporting a crime if there was only a relatively small loss or damage to their premises. Just over half are not confident that the police understand the issues they face and 68 per cent believe that the police are not adequately tackling crime against businesses.

̶0;Many firms are faced with the costs incurred by repeated crimes against their premises. This significantly impacts on growth and, in many cases, their ability to survive,̶1; said the FPB̵7;s Chief Executive, Phil Orford. ̶0;The knock-on effect for local economies, in terms of inward investment, employment and community confidence can also be devastating. We need a more visible, proactive police presence. There must also be a change in the culture of not reporting crimes, so that the perpetrators stand a greater chance of being caught and are prevented from reoffending.̶1;

Of the businesses surveyed, 58 per cent said they had been victims of one or more crimes over the past 12 months. The survey revealed that crime has had a negative impact on business location decisions (73 per cent), inward investment (62 per cent), expansion decisions (57 per cent) and recruitment (49 per cent).

Image: Phil Orford, FPB̵7;s Chief Executive

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