[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 23:53 GMT
Crime 'costs firms 722m a year'
Tractor used in recent raid on a Securitas cash van in Cheshire
Crimes against businesses have been in the news this year
The cost of crimes against British small and medium-sized companies totalled at least 722m last year, according to research by Axa Insurance.

Under-claiming by companies means the true cost is probably much higher, the firm said.

Axa found that theft was the biggest problem for small companies, accounting for 45% of all crime claim settlements, followed by arson at 42%.

Overall crime claims by firms rose by 27% in the last quarter of 2005.

The increase was in comparison to the previous quarter.

After theft and arson, malicious damage was the next most prevalent crime, accounting for 12% of all claims.

'Out of business'

Axa's figures suggest Derby was the worst city in Britain for crimes against businesses in the third quarter of 2005, with 31% of all settled claims from firms in the city during that period being related to crime.

Derby was followed by Bradford on 30%, Nottingham on 29%, Cardiff on 27% and Middlesbrough on 25%.

"The findings demonstrate just how much of a problem crime is for small and medium-sized businesses," said Neil Mercier, property insurance manager at Axa.

"Crime accounts for one-fifth of our entire claim book and while most are low-level, inexpensive crimes such as petty theft and malicious damage, some claims run into tens of thousands of pounds and can put enterprises out of business entirely."

The risk of doing business
02 Feb 06 |  Business
Firms warned of 'holiday fraud'
03 Jan 06 |  Business
What do people shoplift?
28 Nov 05 |  Magazine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific