Small Shops At Risk

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The Federation of Small Businesses has highlighted the tragic impact that crime has on shopkeepers across the UK. As more small shops are victims of crime, especially violent crime, people are losing their livelihoods, areas are becoming more deprived as jobs and facilities move elsewhere and consumers are finding their choices reduced.

Police surveys show that twenty per cent of all crimes are committed against businesses, while the FSB’s research shows that this crime costs £19 billion per year, and businesses believe that these crimes are not given the same priority as other offences.

Forty per cent of businesses do not report crimes against them because they do not believe that it would achieve anything, such is their lack of confidence in the authorities.

Regeneration projects in deprived areas and town centres are also hit by high levels of crime. Businesses close or move away and this increases the vicious circle of crime costing jobs locally, which leads to more crime.

The retail sector suffers the highest level of intimidation or threatening behaviour of any business sector – a third of small firms have been the victim of such crime in the past year. The retail sector alone loses £1.5 billion per year to crime. Shopkeepers often live above or near their business, which means that even when not working they can continue to be victimised.

The Federation of Small Businesses will be putting up rewards, subject to consultations and in conjunction with the police, for information leading to convictions in cases where shopkeepers have been murdered. This reflects the FSB’s concern about violent crime against shopkeepers and underlines the organisation’s commitment to cracking down on such offences.

The local shop is often taken for granted. Its always there when we need it and so it is taken as a given. However, one in three small shops has been the victim of intimidation or threatening behaviour in the past year.

The Government is rightly keen to regenerate deprived areas of the country. However, they cannot do so if local businesses are closing to move elsewhere. The route to success in local regeneration lies in defeating crime. Businesses can then prosper – providing employment to youths who are currently disaffected and taking them off the streets. Economic growth will then regenerate areas in a more effective and sustainable way than any Government-funded programme could achieve.

Digital CCTV systems can provide a deterrent against crimes, both large and small, and can provide the vital evidence against perpetrators in a court of law. If you are interested in installing a CCTV system on your premises, do not hesitate to contact us.

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