Police are “fundamentally flawed” in the way they handle crimes against business, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has claimed.
A new BCC report out today has revealed the annual cost of crimes against business as £12.6bn – a sixth of the total cost of crime in the UK and 20% higher than the previous survey in 2004. Yet at present there is no indicator for the police to record business crime.
The study of 3,900 businesses nationwide, The Invisible Crime: A Business Crime Survey, found 85% of respondents want police to fully engage in cutting business crime – including damage to vehicles, vandalism and graffiti and burglaries – from its current level.
BCC director general David Frost has called on the government to measure business crime by a key performance indicator.
Frost said: “This survey has laid bare the growing cost of business crime and exposed some fundamental flaws in the way business crime is handled by the police. The result of these flaws has meant increasing numbers of businesses are losing confidence in the police’s ability to address their concerns about crime.
“The absence of a national definition for business crime, from which police forces can record instances of criminal activity, is an issue that needs addressing. The government must work closely with the business community going forward if they truly want to clamp down on the growing problem.”
Other survey findings included:
- 59% of businesses have experienced at least one incident of crime in the last 12 months.
- 81% feel that crime against business is a problem in their local area.
- 24% of firms have experienced damage to vehicles, 20% vandalism and graffiti, and 19% had been burgled.
- Businesses based in industrial estates/areas (73%), shopping parades (70%) and out-of-town locations (70%) have experienced crime in the last 12 months when compared to those based elsewhere.
- 68% of businesses said they would not report relatively small crimes or damage to premises or property to the police.
- 68% of businesses do not feel confident the police are dealing with issues that are most important to them.