Crime against business manifests itself in many different ways, often with far reaching effects.
So why is it that Government deliberately continues to treat business crime as a lower priority than household or other crime?
I refer not to simple anomalies within the recording of crime, but to how the police are set key performance indicators and targets.
It is over a year since we held a major business crime conference at the Belfry where all businesses called for crime against business to be properly acknowledged for what it was.
Yet the Home Office still continues to reject our call to make reducing business crime a key performance indicator for the police. Neither does the Home Office have a single definition of what constitutes a business crime.
The police are trying hard to ensure that crime against business is dealt with in the local policing plans. But, with increased pressure on police resources work inevitably becomes prioritised according to demands from ‘on high’.
We are told the ‘one-size -fits-all’ approach of existing targets means all crimes are properly dealt with.
But this is not what happens in reality. How can it when targets set for households and the public differ from those set for businesses?
Crime though can come at the business from all angles. Fraud and theft can come from criminals outside the business as well as from employees within. Nowadays, the sophisticated lengths to which criminals go is only limited by the intelligence and technology they can use against us.
Internet scams are becoming more widespread and damaging. The ability of others to gain personal details about us to elicit money and goods from our businesses is becoming of greater concern.
The damaging effects of crime against our businesses are all too apparent.
Our employees are affected, our customers are affected, our families are affected. Our businesses are harmed or even put out of business altogether.
This is also directly affecting our communities of which firms in general – and small businesses in particular – are very much an integral part.
Business fully understands that we need to be more aware of what must be done to protect ourselves and our staff, but equally Government has a fundamental duty to ensure that resources are in place to deal with these issues.
Mike Cherry is the West Midlands Policy Unit chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses. Read previous columns here.