Birmingham SME crime hotspot as Business Crime Index shows 10% rise

Increase in crimes against small businesses set to worsen in second half of 2008.

By News Desk
9th September 2008 at 18:08

British businesses are under renewed attack according to the latest figures from Axa’s Business Crime Index which showed a 10% increase in the number of crimes committed against SMEs during the first half of 2008. This rise was compounded by an 18% increaes in the cost of crime to small businesses over the same period.

These figures run contrary to official statistics released by the Home Office earlier this year which indicated a 9% decline in general and high street crime.

Figures show that the average claim for crimes against small businesses now stands at £4,575.

Doug Barnett, AXA’s Head of Customer Risk Management, said:

The increase in business crime is likely to get worse as the economic downturn continues, particularly where prices for certain goods are increasing … If high street crime is falling, as recent government statistics suggest, we believe the police should now increase the emphasis on tackling crimes against UK businesses.

Statistics from the Index reveal that Birmingham is Britain’s business crime hotspot, but Northampton saw the biggest rise in crime over the period.

Forcible theft was the most common crime against small businesses (i.e. breaking and entering), followed by malicious damage (including vandalism).

There was also a worryingly large increase (33.3%) in the recorded numbers of non-forcible entry crimes which include robberies where the business owner is held against their will.

[Picture credit: redvers@flickr]

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