Report shows 40% of small businesses hit by crime over the last two years

An industry body announces that two fifths of small businesses in Wales were victims of crime since 2017

A broken window
Criminal damage remains one of the most frequently reported crimes against Welsh businesses (Image: Griffin Taylor via Unsplash)

A new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has highlighted that two fifths of small businesses in Wales have been subjected to business crime between 2017 and 2019.

Almost a third of those companies affected experienced traditional crime, with the highest reported criminal activities being robbery/burglary, theft and criminal damage. 

Between them, these types of offences made up 83% of all commercial related crimes, according to the report

Of those businesses that experience crime, 13% said they had been the victims of business related cyber activity.

The average cost of crime to an affected enterprise was £3000 per year, which could be a make or break sum to a local shop or a recently started-up venture, for instance.

“It is not a nice figure to lose. If you’re a little business that is a significant amount of money,” said Ian Davis, owner of independent Cardiff gaming shop, Rules Apply.

Computer code scrolling in green down a laptop screen
Cyber crime now accounts for over a tenth of commercial crime in Wales (Image: Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

The FSB report seems to suggest that the UK government is responsible for making changes that will result in a meaningful reduction of commercial crime.

“Business crime is a serious concern for our members,” said Ben Francis, FSB Wales policy chair, “As such, it is imperative that the UK Government take any action that they can to support SMEs and prevent crime from occurring.

“It is important to recognise the impact that business crime has on businesses, individuals and our economy,” he continued, “and to work together so that we can reduce the negative effects of business crime on our communities as a whole.” 

If only our FSB was more like their Russian namesake, perhaps we’d have no problem. 

But in the meantime, there are ways that businesses can try to secure themselves against malicious activities, either on of offline.