Crime against businesses hits smaller firms particularly hard, says the Bedfordshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.
New research by the FSB nationally shows that small firms are not reporting crimes against their business because they do not think it would lead to a successful prosecution.
FSB Bedfordshire branch chairman Ian Cording said: “The fact that businesses are not reporting crimes shows a real breakdown in trust and confidence in the police.”
Nearly a quarter of smaller business owners do not report any crimes committed against their business because most feel that nothing positive will come of it. This figure has not changed in six years, says the FSB, highlighting an ongoing lack of confidence in the authority’s ability to address business crime over that period.
Ahead of the PCC elections, the FSB has produced a manifesto that urges candidates to put business crime at the heart of their plans to ensure this issue is finally addressed. Business crime acts as a barrier to growth for the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses and in the worst cases, puts entrepreneurs out of business.
Mr Cording said the revised definition of ‘business crime’ adopted by the police in April last year (any criminal offence committed against a person or property which is associated by the connection of that person or property to a business) is welcome but does not go far enough.
He added: “There is still a long way to go in addressing the true extent of the problem. Crime affects all businesses, but it impacts smaller firms the hardest as they cannot absorb the unexpected costs.
“We have issued our PCC manifesto so we can enable a stronger relationship between police and businesses once and for all. Tackling business crime will go some way in helping to create a resilient economy in Bedfordshire.
He urged business owners to put in place a business continuity plan to cover all emergencies, including business crime.
For more information, visit the bedfordshire & Luton Local Resilience Forum www.bllrf.org.uk