09/08/2005

NI businesses experience high crime rate

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new report criticising the Government for not giving crime against businesses the priority it deserves.

The report - Cracking Business Crime - is based on a survey of over 18,000 small businesses across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

It shows that along with three other regions, Northern Ireland’s incidence of business crime is among the highest in the UK.

Wilfred Mitchell, FSB Policy Chairman said: “Our survey shows that Northern Ireland businesses experience the highest levels of shoplifting, employee fraud and cheque fraud, the second highest levels of graffiti and vehicle theft, as well as higher than average levels of vandalism.

“It also shows that Northern Ireland is now along with three other regions, among the highest figures for crime against businesses and has some of the lowest figures for reporting crime to the police.”

Mr Mitchell said these figures were in stark contrast to those of the PSNI who claim that crime in Northern Ireland is reducing.

"The reality could not be more different for the business community on the ground," Mr Mitchell continued.

“The PSNI and Policing Board must wake up to the reality that unless Crime against Business is given the priority it deserves then we will see more and more businesses shut up shop for good”

The three other UK regions with the highest business crime figures alongside Northern Ireland where Yorkshire & Humberside, NW England and the East Midlands.

(MB/SP)

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