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SFA The rising cost of crime


CRIME DOESN’T PAY, IT COSTS – A LOT – ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A SMALL TOMEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESS, AND ITNEEDS TO BE URGENTLY ADDRESSED BY THE STATE, SAYS AVINEMCNALLY, ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE SFA


Small Irish businesses continue to face an exceptionally adverse business environment in light of the global recession, banking crisis and the fiscal imbalance in our economy. Coupledwith increased input costsmany firms have taken


actions to regain cost-competitiveness within their own businesses, including negotiating real pay decreaseswith staff and decreases on their input and overhead costs.However, a cost that is on the increase formany firms is crime. The Small Firms Association (SFA) believes the business


community is under constant attack from planned professional criminality and there is an enormous psychological price being paid by businesspeople,with crime nowmore organised,professional, ruthless and pervasive. The 7thNational SmallBusinessCrime Survey,conducted


by the SFA, shows that 45pc of businesses have been victims of crime on at least one occasion in the past two years,with 66pc of firms having been victims of crime on two or more occasions. The costs associatedwith crime are increasing rapidly,with


the current SFA Crime Survey showing the costs incurred per single incident of crime ranging from €50 to €50,000, with the average cost per incident being €2,920. Therewas a 24pc increase in capital expenditure since 2008


by small businesses on securitymeasures,which nowaverages €9,277 per company or a total investment of €2.04bn per annum. In addition, the average cost per company of maintenance for security equipment averages €1,231 per annumor €270mannually.


Retailers bear the brunt While all firms carry the burdens associated with crime and crime prevention, a large part of the cost burden falls on retailers, who are especially vulnerable and find themselves spending large sums ofmoney on securitymeasures. The survey indicates that as crime is becoming more


sophisticated, firms are putting more complex security systems in place to protect their staff,premises,business,data and stock. The use of CCTV has increased, while the number of electronic access control systems has also risen. Firms are increasingly using alternative security services such as mobile and static security patrols, guard dogs and key- holding services.


THE 2010 SURVEY SHOWS THAT: 45pc of small business have been a crime victimin the past two years


44 OWNER MANAGER VOL 3 ISSUE 3 2010


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