08/06/2006

NI companies worst affected by crime

Northern Ireland companies are the worst affected by crime in the UK, it has today emerged.

The report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claims that 40% of local companies affected by crime did not report it to police as they did not believe that this would achieve anything.

It also emerged that around 57% of small businesses had fallen victim to some type of crime over the past year, in comparison with 51% in the UK.

Over 19,000 members of the FSB were consulted during the survey.

A spokesperson for the FSB today said that local businesses were experiencing an increasing "crime epidemic."

He added that the impact of crime on the local economy had been overlooked for too long and many businesses have been force to close due to racketeering and extortion.

He concluded by saying that the research carried out by the FSB has revealed that the true extent of business crime is not reflected in official figures as many businesses have effectively opted out of the criminal justice system.

(EF/SP)

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