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Why small business owners fail to report crime

Business crime statistics are being called into question as new research from the Federation of Small Businesses shows that many small firms don't report crimes against their business.

When asked why, most said they felt reporting it would not achieve anything positive (46%). In addition, 38% said they didn't think the police would be able to find the criminals or achieve a successful prosecution and 26% said reporting a crime was too time-consuming.

Despite Government figures that suggest business crime is decreasing, the FSB research has found that a third of small businesses say business crime is increasing in their area. Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed have been a victim of cyber crime in the past two years, 48% have been a victim of non-cyber crime and 53% have been a victim of both.

The FSB says the findings call into question the accuracy of the current crime statistics.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: 

"Crime affects all businesses, but it impacts smaller firms the hardest as they cannot absorb the unexpected costs. The fact that businesses are not reporting crimes shows a real breakdown in trust and confidence in the police."

Meanwhile, businesses are making a concerted effort to improve their security, says the FSB. Two-fifths (41%) of businesses have installed or upgraded a security system to protect their business and 80% of small firms protect their IT systems with computer security software.

With the election of local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in May, the FSB has published a manifesto aimed at putting business crime at the heart of local policing plans.

Mike Cherry said:

"With the average cost of crime to a business now at £5,898, and instances of cyber crime on the rise, there is a real necessity to get a handle on this. FSB members call on candidates for PCCs standing in elections across England in May to make combating business crime a central theme in their long-term plans."

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