Crime costing UK’s SMEs £25m

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Over half of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK have been targeted by crime - costing owners up to £25 million.

A study of 500 SMEs by charity Victim Support and security firm ADT found 51 per cent have been victims of crime, which equates the costing each £2,625 for every crime.

In addition, the study revealed businesses are being repeatedly targeted by criminals, causing them to lose up to 151 days of trading over the lifespan of the business. Over a quarter of firms targeted were victims of burglary (27 per cent), while 24 per cent suffered theft from an outsider.

One in five (19 per cent) of owners are targeted by thieves 20 times or more across the lifespan of their business. Furthermore, 19 per cent of the business owners surveyed had suffered from vandalism, with victims targeted an average of nine times. The impact of crime on staff morale was also significant, with 69 per cent of owners reporting emotional distress.

Karen Froggatt, director of Victim Support, said: “Business crimes are not victimless – owners and staff often put their life and soul into their work. These crimes are taken personally and can have a devastating impact.”