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Commissioner Angus Macpherson (centre) with, left to right, chief constable Pat Geenty, Nicky Calway, PKieran Kilgallen, and Sarah Kyte

Commissioner’s survey gives snapshot of effects of crime on businesses

Half of all businesses that participated in a consultation exercise run by Wiltshire and Swindon’s police commissioner have experienced crime or anti-social behaviour in the past 12 months.

That was one of the key points of the first Business Crime Survey, the results of which were presented to business leaders at the inaugural Business Crime Forum in Devizes on Friday.

The survey also found:

  • The majority of those who had experienced crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB) had reported incidents to Wiltshire Police

  • Almost half of respondents reckoned they had lost between £1,000 and £10,000 per annum as a result of crime and ASB

  • Just over a quarter of respondents had received crime prevention advice

  • Of those who had experienced crime or ASB in the previous 12 months, roughly one in three had received crime prevention advice

  • Nine out of ten businesses surveyed had taken some form of preventative measure against crime and ASB. Almost all those who had experienced crime and ASB were taking some form of preventative measures

  • Less than a third of respondents said the level of crime and ASB had had an impact on their investment decisions

  • Just over a third said levels of crime and ASB had made an impact on their decisions about where to locate their business

  • Just over half of respondents had contact with their Neighbourhood Policing Team, with more than three quarters of those who had contact saying it was useful 

Just over 150 businesses completed the online survey, in an initiative led by commissioner Angus Macpherson.

The survey also monitored the cost of crime to the Wiltshire economy. Impacts on businesses included:

  • Cost of repairs

  • Installation of security measures

  • Replacement of vehicles, equipment and goods

  • Loss of equipment leading to loss of business

  • Increased insurance premiums / difficulty getting insurance

  • Loss of time

  • Damage to reputation

  • Negative impact on individuals / staff and customers

Respondents came from a wide range of business sectors, with retailers best represented, at almost a third of respondents. Just less than one in five were from the professional services sector and just over one in ten were from the hotel / restaurant and visitor attraction sector.

The police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “I am very grateful to the businessmen and women who took the time to complete my survey. 

“The business community plays such an important part in the life of our city, towns and villages and I wanted to give the owners of companies the chance to have their say about crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The feedback is extremely interesting and I am sure it will provoke a very lively debate.

“The survey suggests that anti-social behaviour continues to be a real issue for some of those running businesses in our community.

“I intend to run this survey every year and I hope many more business people will take part in future years.”