Half London businesses suffer from burglars, vandals, shoplifters and fraudsters

2005

Nearly half of companies in London have been victims of crime in the past year, according to business leaders in the capital.

A study of 357 companies by the London Chamber of Commerce has found more than 49 per cent had suffered from criminal activity directed against their business.

Burglary and shoplifting were the most common forms of crime, with nearly 22 per cent of those polled saying it was the type of crime that had most affected their business.

This was closely followed by anti-social behaviour and vandalism (16.9 per cent), external fraud (15.5 per cent), hacking and data theft (7.4 per cent hacking) and fraud by employees (5.2 per cent).

The findings come from the London Chamber of Commerce's quarterly Monitor survey, which interviewed 357 companies.

Some 40 per cent said they had been victims of crime on more than one, but fewer than five, occasions in the past year.

But 6.3 per cent had had to deal with criminal activity on more than five occasions, it added.

For 11.5 per cent crime had cost their firm more than £1,000 in the past year, rising to £2,500 for 6 per cent and £10,000 for 8 per cent.

Yet when asked whether London was a safe place in which to do business, 73 per cent still answered “yes”.

The LCC’s Dan Bridgett said: “The number of firms whose business is being directly affected by crime is scandalously high.

“Our figures show that the overwhelming majority of crimes experienced by businessmen and women can be classified as either vandalism or burglary."

“We have called for business crime to be included as a key performance indicator for the police. It is vital that strategies to prevent crime against companies are worked out a local level. And dialogue between the business community and law enforcers to establish what the local priorities are is essential,” he added.

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