A new report has today been released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) which highlights the £12.6 billion annual cost of cirmes against business. This figure has increased by 20 per cent since the BCC's last survey on business crime in 2004, and it now equates to over a sixth of the total cost of all crime in the UK.

The BCC's Director General, David Frost, and the other Chamber of Commerce Chief Executives have jointly written to the Home Secretary calling on the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to make cutting crimes against business of their Key Performance Indicators. At present there is no indicator for the police to record business crime.

The worrying lack of confidence that the business community has in the police is the major reason why the British Chambers of Commerce is campaigning for the Home Secretary to make reducing crime a Key Performance Indicator for police authorities across the country. 85 per cent of respondents to the report's survey believed that this is crucial in getting the police to fully engage in cutting business crime from its current level.

A new report has today been released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) which highlights the £12.6 billion annual cost of cirmes against business. This figure has increased by 20 per cent since the BCC's last survey on business crime in 2004, and it now equates to over a sixth of the total cost of all crime in the UK.

The report entitled, The Invisible Crime: A Business Crime Survey, surveyed 3,900 businesses nationwide to ascertain the extent of crime against business. A number of troubling concerns about business crime have been made very apparent:
  • 59 per cent of businesses have experienced at least one incident of crime in the last 12 months.
  • 81 per cent feel that crime against business is a problem in their local area.
  • 24 per cent of firms have experienced damage to vehicles, whilst 20 per cent said they had experienced vandalism and graffiti, with 19 per cent being burgled.
  • Greater proportions of businesses based in industrial estates/areas (73 per cent), shopping parades (70 per cent) and out of town locations (70 per cent) have experienced crime in the last 12 months when compared to those based elsewhere.
  • 68 per cent of businesses said they would not report relatively small crimes or damage to premises or property to the police.
  • 68 per cent of businesses do not feel confident that the Police are dealing with issues that are most important to them.

Commenting on business crime and some of the findings in the survey, David Frost, said:

"Businesses are the lifeblood of communities and crimes against business have a damaging impact on both the economic growth and future prosperity of local areas.

"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 which needs addressing. The government must work closely with the business community going forward if they truly want to clamp down on the growing problem."