The riots were bad enough – now ongoing shoplifting, vandalism and intimidation are crippling London businesses
The cost of yob culture to London businesses has prompted around one in three companies to consider relocating, according to a survey.
Businesses believe troublesome behaviour from individuals including petty theft and broken doors and windows will cost them dearly in 2012, insurer RSA discovered.
The average London business forked out £13,581.57 to cover the damage done by yob culture last year, with graffiti, littering and intimidation sapping money from profits. The capital’s companies believe the bill for this type of behaviour will nearly triple this year to hit an average of £51,369.65.
While firms in London might find forking out so much on unnecessary damage to be difficult to take, they can least console themselves with the fact their bill is lower than the national average, which stands at just over £20,000. Yob culture cost British businesses £9.8bn last year alone, the survey found.
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RSA managing director, commercial Jon Hancock said: “This research shows that Britain’s yob culture is having a tangible and negative impact on British businesses up and down the country.
“Whether it’s petty theft, broken windows, intimidation and harassment or graffiti, honest businesses of all sizes and types right across the country are footing the bill for what is socially unacceptable behaviour.
“The importance of businesses preparing for the risks they face and having the right level of protection in place should not be underestimated.
“This research shows that UK businesses expect yob culture to cost them more this year, so I would encourage all employers to carefully consider how they can protect themselves in order to safeguard the future welfare of their business.”
Despite the frustration businesses in London must feel about footing the bill for needless damage caused by yob culture, the capital is not the worst affected region. The average company in the West Midlands was forced to pay nearly £80,000 due to criminal damage and associated other issues, while businesses in the East Midlands were faced with more than £64,000 of damage.
Some industries had higher bills than others. Although engineering and utilities companies were the most likely to be affected, the construction industry (£66,000 per business) and transport industry (£53,000) paid the most to fix the damage done.
Utilities (£65,000), finance and business services (£52,000) and construction companies (£40,000) are anticipating the biggest bills in 2012.
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