Business Crime in the UK –

The Home Office release their latest UK statistics on business security.

In a recent report issued by the Home Office, the ‘2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey’ (CVS), it has been reported that business crime in the UK has fallen over the years.

The 2012 CVS was a premises-based survey focused on four industry sectors:

  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Transportation and Storage
  • Accommodation and Food

The results of their survey is purely for crime in these four sectors and not representative of crime against businesses as a whole,

The headlines

In incidents of burglary with entry – The most commonly reported method of entry into the building was through a wooden or glass door, accounting for 36% of all incidents. Access through a metal door, roller door or shutter accounted for 17% of incidents.  Goods or stock were the items most reported stolen in burglary incidents – these were stolen in 37% of incidents.

Stolen Goods and Stock – These were stolen in 88% of the most recent incidents of theft by customers – this is largely driven by the ‘Wholesale and Retail’ sector where almost all, 94%, of incidents involved the theft of goods or stock.

The most common form of vandalism – Damage to buildings and premises accounted for almost two-thirds, 64%, of vandalism incidents.

Those businesses which had experienced robbery, including attempts, almost all, 91%, said that the most recent incident took place at their premises.

Employees who had been victims of assaults or threats – 80% of incidents were a result of threats by a customer – those employees who suffered physical abuse and injury accounted for 12% of the cases.

Fraud – Withheld or ‘skimmed’ takings and fraudulent accounting each made up around a third of incidents of fraud by employees, 34% and 30% respectively.

Urban vs. Rural Crime – there were 15,500 incidents of crime per 1,000 premises in urban areas compared with 5,600 in rural areas – almost three times higher.

Burglar alarms were installed in 75% of premises, 73% premises had protective window and door measures in place, the most common type being bars, gates, grilles or shatterproof glass.

Business Security

Business Security

The most expensive individual incidents of crime were theft of vehicles accounted for the most expensive individual incidents of crime – costing on average £5,000. Burglary with entry cost £1,000 per incident.

Overall, there were 9.2 million crimes against business premises in these four sectors in the 12 months prior to interview in 2012 – almost half of all crimes picked up by the CVS (4.1 million) were thefts by customers against wholesale and retail premises in the form of shoplifting.

In comparison to crime rates in 2002, there were around 14.5 million less crimes against wholesale and retail business premises in 2012 than in 2002, down from a total of around 21.5 million to around 7 million – however, theft still accounts for around 4 out of 5 incidents.

For crime involving vandalism, assaults and threats, theft and fraud, the incidence rates are higher in more deprived areas, in comparison to the less deprived areas.

Where these crimes took place

The North East of England had the highest number of incidents of crime per 1,000 premises of all regions in England and Wales. This is driven by the high rate of thefts. London had the highest fraud rate and the North West, London and the West Midlands had the highest robbery rates.

Keeping your business secure is as important now as it has ever been – whilst crime rates are on the decrease, this doesn’t mean that attempts are also on the decline. We all know it’s tough out there and will always be those who chance their hand at robbery, theft or vandalism.

Business Security

Business Security

Making sure your systems are in good working order, but more importantly, right for your particular business is imperative.

If you work with a security partner and you haven’t had the system audited for a while, get it booked in.

If you don’t have a security partner in place, or if you would an objective, no strings attached 2nd opinion, we’d be happy to provide a free security audit and present our findings.

Remember, security doesn’t have to be complicated – with so many advances in technology new systems offer tangible solutions to businesses looking to improve their security.

Brunel Security Tackle Business Crime

For some free advice, to ask us a question or to book a free security audit, please call one of our Client Care Team on 0845 260 0095 or e-mail me on

*The CVS is a telephone survey in which respondents from a representative sample of business premises in four business sectors in England and Wales were asked about crimes experienced at their premises in the 12 months prior to interview. In total 4,017 interviews were carried out across the sectors, with around 1,000 in each.

For the full report, including how they collected and compiled the data visit the Home Office website or see it here