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One in two SMEs are crime victims

Almost half (49 per cent) of small businesses in England and Wales have been victims of crime in the past two years, research by FSB shows.

The Calling Time on Business Crime report found 34 per cent of these were hit by ‘traditional’ crime such as robbery or burglary (42 per cent), theft (38 per cent) or criminal damage (36 per cent); 20 per cent fell victim to cybercrime.

The most common experience of cybercrime was phishing (51 per cent), malware (36 per cent) and online payments fraud (29 per cent).

The average cost to businesses affected by traditional crime during the two years was £14,360, the survey found, with the average crime costing up to £3,340. For cybercrime, the average cost over two years was £7,093, with each incident costing an average of £972.

Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of small firms have taken at least one defensive measure to protect themselves against traditional business crime during the past two years, with 90 per cent taking action to prevent cybercrime.