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Threats to businesses from crime

Image4.jpgAll businesses are at risk of being victims of crime, especially outside of normal business hours when employees have gone home and buildings are left empty, unattended and vulnerable. But just how big a risk do businesses face from crime? To answer that question, we are looking at figures produced in the recent Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS).

The CVS examines the extent of crime against businesses in England and Wales. Previously carried out in 1994, 2002 and 2012, the latest survey was carried out in 2013, with the initial results published by the Home Office in the spring of 2014.

The 2013 CVS looks at the extent of crime against business premises in four key industry sectors – A (agriculture, forestry and fishing), G (wholesale and retail trade), I (accommodation and food services activities), and R (arts, entertainment and recreation). These four sectors account for over one third of all business premises in England and Wales. The 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) also considered crimes against manufacturing businesses, and against transportation and storage businesses.

Overall, the survey found that:

  • A staggering 40% of business premises in these six sectors were victims of crime.
  • Theft was the most common type of crime, accounting for 70% of all crimes across the six sectors.
  • Theft was experienced by around 20% of all businesses.
  • Business premises are 3 times more likely to be the target of crime than a private home.


The key findings in each sector were as follows:

Wholesale and Retail Sector

  • 45% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 5,915,000 incidents in this sector – 81% of all crimes across the 6 sectors
  • There were 17,261 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was thefts by customers – 9,484 crimes per 1,000 premises
  • Shoplifting accounted for 55% of crimes in the wholesale and retail sector

Accommodation and Food Sector

  • 42% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 575,000 incidents in this sector
  • There were 4,565 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was assaults and threats – 1,904 crimes per 1,000 premises
  • Assaults and threats accounted for 42% of crimes in the accommodation and food sector

Arts, entertainment and recreation sector

  • 45% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 196,000 incidents in this sector
  • There were 4,660 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was theft, 1,305 crimes per 1,000 properties
  • Thefts accounted for 28% of crimes in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector

Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector

  • 30% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 133,000 incidents in this sector
  • There were 1,475 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was vandalism, 443 crimes per 1,000 properties
  • Vandalism accounted for 26% of crimes in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector

Manufacturing

  • 30% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 164,000 incidents in this sector
  • There were 1,500 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was vandalism, 324 crimes per 1,000 properties

Transportation and storage

  • 40% of premises in this sector experienced at least one crime in the last 12 months
  • There were 324,000 incidents in this sector
  • There were 5,824 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises
  • The most common crime was theft, 1,498 crimes per 1,000 properties


The types of crime considered by the survey were burglary, vandalism, vehicle-related theft, robbery, assaults and threats, theft, fraud, online crime, metal and fuel theft, chemical and livestock theft and organised crime.

If you are a business, then there is a two in five chance that you will become a victim of crime, a shockingly high figure, and one which means that businesses cannot afford to be complacent. It probably means that when you leave your business premises at night, there is a far higher chance that you will become a victim of crime than you thought.

To learn more about the risks faced by your business out of hours, click here