Business theft is on the rise across the UK, and new research has revealed which police forces are seeing the largest increases.
The figures have been released by Ebuyer, the UK’s largest independent tech retailer, following Freedom of Information requests being sent to police constabularies across the country. The study found that since 2015 there has been a 9% increase in the number of reported thefts affecting businesses.
Cleveland Police Force, in north east England, saw the largest rise in such crimes, with a staggering 3,292% increase over the three year period, with 1,323 reported thefts last year compared to just 39 in 2015.
The rise in business crime is seen across the UK. Out of the 23 police constabularies that responded to the data request, 19 (83%) experienced increases in business-related thefts between 2015 and 2018.
Bucking this national trend are the police authorities in Bedfordshire and Derbyshire, which have both seen a decrease in business thefts since 2015. Bedfordshire has seen such reports drop by 54%, while in Wiltshire the number of thefts has fallen by 48%, making the regions the safest regarding business security.
Despite Cleveland seeing the largest percentage increase, businesses in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Police in London have reported by far the highest number of thefts. In 2018, businesses in this area contacted the police 339,337 times about stolen goods, 14 times more than the national average (24,058).
As well as the number of thefts from businesses rising, the average value of stolen goods across the UK has also increased by 5%, over £2m, since 2015 (from £43,342,507 to £45,425,928).
Cambridgeshire was the constabulary with the highest individual theft cost, where the average was a staggering £1,117.95 per recorded incident.
Lee Weymouth, Commercial Director at Ebuyer said, “The significant increase in the number of business thefts indicates that the risk to business security is higher and more unpredictable than ever.
“As concerning as this is for businesses, there are now a number of ways that firms can protect themselves, including CCTV and thermal sensors.”