Crime hits two thirds of small firms

Two-thirds of Australian small businesses have been the victim of crime more than once, according to new research.

A study of 500 small firms by ADT Security found that 43% had suffered losses totalling up to $10,000.


This financial loss was attributed by 82% of those polled to stolen goods, with half reporting property damage, a third citing business disruption or closure and a loss of customers identified by 12% of respondents.


More than half of small businesses have been the victim of burglary, with a third suffering shoplifting or vandalism. A further 24% have been hit by employee theft of merchandise, with 21% experiencing staff theft of cash.


Employee theft is most common in NSW and ACT, with burglary highest in WA. The report says that generation Y was more likely to admit experiencing anxiety or stress due to crime, compared to the national average.


Unsurprisingly, ADT Security advises that security measures can help small businesses avoid becoming a victim of crime.


Mark Norton, managing director of ADT, says: “As the survey results show, crime can be especially devastating for small businesses. The potential for the loss of profit and merchandise to overwhelm a business is high, not to mention the threat crimes like robbery pose to the physical safety of customers and employees.”


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