Retail sector bucks trend by showing fall in cost of crime

The
cost of crimes against retail businesses dropped by 45 per cent in the last
quarter of 2003, to just over £10m.

The
reduction came despite a slight rise in the number of insurance claims relating
to crime in the sector, which affected 32 per cent of companies over the same
period – well above the national average of 17 per cent.

However,
according to the Business Crime Index from insurance firm AXA, retail is doing
better than other sectors as the overall cost of crime has risen by 70 per cent
since 2002, and by 7 per cent in the past three months.

On
average businesses affected by crime end up worse off by more than £3,500 –
without taking into account business disruption and the effect on reputation
and staff morale.

David
Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The
index shows that the cost of crime against business continues to pose a real
threat to many firms.

"Crime
against business not only imposes a direct cost in terms of the theft of stock
or equipment or the damage that it does to property; it also impacts negatively
on business performance by causing disruption to trading and hampering
investment."

By Mike Berry

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