Crime burns a hole in profits

PUBLISHED: 13:47 07 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:25 06 May 2010

Businesses are being hit harder than ever by the cost of crime, new research has found. The average insurance claim for a crime-related incident was six per cent higher than a year ago, at more than £4,000 in the first three months of the year, according

Businesses are being hit harder than ever by the cost of crime, new research has found.

The average insurance claim for a crime-related incident was six per cent higher than a year ago, at more than £4,000 in the first three months of the year, according to insurance firm Axa.

And in total, the company estimated that crime is costing UK businesses £700 million a year.

However, the total number of crime-related claims has dropped, falling by 24 per cent compared with the last quarter of 2005.

Neil Mercer, of Axa, said: "This is still a serious problem that is costing small and medium-sized businesses well over £700 million a year."

Arson is the most financially crippling crime small businesses face, although other problems include burglary, malicious damage and theft.

Birmingham topped the city business crime table with more than a quarter of insurance claims settled between January and March being crime-related. It was followed by Cardiff and Bradford.

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