Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today warned the growing problem of crime was costing the typical business in Hertfordshire an estimated ?2,000 a year. A survey, conducted by the Institute of Directors across the country, revealed that two-thirds of businesses had suffered from crime in the last year. Nine out of ten businesses were not confident that criminals would ever be caught and also wanted more police on the beat.
Peter Lilley said:
“This new survey exposes how there is a crime crisis across the country, with an estimated two-thirds of firms suffering from crime and typically losing ?2,000 a year as a result. Even those of us who haven?t been victims of crime are affected by the higher costs that businesses are facing as a result.
“Nine out of ten firms want more police on the beat. This is an endorsement of the Conservative policy of introducing true neighbourhood policing, reclaiming our streets by changing the way police patrol, and recruiting an additional 574 police officers across Hertfordshire.?
Notes to Editors
Institute of Directors, Policy Paper, Crime: its extent, impact and consequences for business, was published on 22 April 2003.
Its findings included:
? 66% (442) of respondents reported that their business had been affected by crime over the last year.
? 42% (187) of respondents whose businesses had been affected by crime had faced higher insurance costs as a result.
? Crime in the UK typically costs companies around ?2,000 a year ? ?if we take this estimate of the cost of crime for IoD members to be representative of the 3.7 million UK business population as a whole, it is conceivable that 2.4 million firms might have suffered from crime, at a total cost of ?4.9 billion.?
? 86% (578) of respondents were not confident that if they were to be the victim of crime that that the reprobate would be caught.
? 88% (592) of respondents wanted a significant increase in police numbers and a greater police presence on the streets.
? ?Crimes committed against businesses are an issue not simply for the firms concerned, but also for the wider public. Businesses that suffer from crime may incur costs which they are forced to pass onto the public in the form of higher prices or a deterioration in the quality of services that they provide. In extreme circumstances, the cost of crime may drive a firm out of business or at least oblige it to relocate to a more secure area. In situations of this kind, local people suffer from lost employment opportunities and a reduction in business services? (p.6).
Conservative Plans for More Police on the Beat
The table below shows the additional police officers for each force in England & Wales under Conservative proposals for neighbourhood policing.
March 2002 Strength