The latest business crime statistics have highlighted how crime has changed and how it is likely to continue to change in the future, as the information and communication sector experienced the lowest rate of ‘traditional’ crime but the highest rate of online crime across all sectors.

The sector experienced around 2,300 online crime incidents per 1,000 premises, compared with 300 incidents of ‘traditional’ crimes per 1,000 premises. Out of all the sectors surveyed the information and communication is the most digitally advanced, indicating that this pattern may spread to other sectors in the future.

For other sectors the issues were more focussed on traditional areas of crime, shoplifting was the major crime suffered by retail and wholesale companies which made it the most victimised sector analysed with twice as many incidents at the construction sector.

Vandalism, theft and burglary were the most common crime types experienced by the farming sector and theft and threats of assault were the most common in the construction industry.

Yet whereas traditional crime is continuing to fall, online crime against businesses is on the rise, particularly if the increases reported by industry experts are correct.

Generally businesses were happy with the response to crimes, but one of the most frequent complaints from businesses is the time taken to respond to crime (1 in 3 dissatisfied businesses highlighted this) which is crucial for dealing effectively with online crime.

Aaron Yates, founder and CEO of cyber security company Berea, a strategic partner of the Forum, said “We welcome the publication of the Business Crime Statistics. They reinforce a message being echoed across the UK. Businesses are at increasing risk from cyber crime and that it is important to act on this knowledge as soon as possible.”

“Using Government data we recently identified that an individual is 10 times more likely to be a victim of cyber crime than suffer a fire, yet we are a long way away from having the same preparedness in our homes and businesses.”

“We are seeing a number of trends: (1) Commercial awareness is increasing but not translating into effective risk management activity, (2) “Cyber” has too many meanings to the non-specialist and this is hiding the underlying issues, (3) Businesses are genuinely struggling to find a logical, simple place to start in assessing their posture towards cyber risk.”

Aaron continued “In partnership with the Forum we are making accessible a suite of tools to help a business properly engage with cyber. To grab the bull by the horns in the way they want to. There is no “one size fits all approach”, and we are proud to offer the tools businesses need based on the problems they can recognise and associate with.”

Ian Cass from the Forum concluded: “We have seen a worrying trend that is highlighted in these figures one in four businesses appear to be concerned about online crime, but less than 5% feel that this is going to be a problem for them. Business owners need to be realistic about the impact of online crime, 90% of businesses that lose their data are forced to close down within 2 years, but only 4% have any insurance”.


Business Crime Statistics can be found at:

Aaron Yates, CEO,
07941 760 992
0116 287 3600

Ian Cass, CEO
Forum of Private Business
01565 626001

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.