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Small businesses are incurring mammoth costs of almost £17 billion every year due to criminal activity, according to new research from FSB.
At a time of huge uncertainty and increasing costs, business crime is a serious issue that is devastating firms up and down the country, warned the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), following the release of its new research.
Traditional crime, including robbery, fraud and criminal damage, affects around 900,000 small businesses each year, costing almost £17 billion, warned the FSB.
“These figures come before other indirect costs such as store closures and staff absences are even taken into account, meaning that the £17 billion figure is estimated to be far higher," said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry.
The FSB has urged the government, especially the incoming new administration, to help plug the "multibillion-pound black hole".
"A major step the government needs to make is to bring police numbers in England and Wales closer to the European average of more than 300 officers per 100,000 people. At the moment, there are only 212 per 100,000," said Mr Cherry.
He explained that the availability of more police officers and resources is a critical step in ensuring that crimes are both prevented and subsequently investigated.
"The Home Office must link funding to the proper resourcing of business crime. This sort of action will not only benefit small businesses but the wider economy and the country as a whole," Mr Cherry added.