Monday, 27 August 2007

Yobs’ blamed for business crime

'Yobs’ blamed for business crime

Almost a third of UK firms blame yob culture as a root cause of crime against businesses, according to research by Axa Insurance.

Drug taking and binge drinking was perceived as the biggest threat to small and medium size businesses.

However, Axa said that crime-related business insurance claims fell 24% in the three months to the end of March, compared with the previous quarter.

Birmingham saw the most crime against small companies, the firm said.

At the other end of the scale, Liverpool was found to have the least crime against small companies, with just 12.8% of insurance claims relating to criminal activity.

“Although our figures show a decline in the number and total cost of business crime, this is still a serious problem that is costing small and mediums size businesses well over 700m a year,” said property insurance manager Neil Mercer.

Types of criminal activity most commonly linked to drink and drugs - theft and criminal damage - made up more than 95% of all insurance claims.

Asked to pinpoint the cause of offences against their companies, 44% of business owners cited drug abuse and 31% blamed binge drinking.

While arson is the most damaging to a business, it accounted for just 3.8% of claims, Axa said.

All data was based on Axa’s claim figures.

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