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Scotland and Northern Ireland e-crime capitals of UK

Scotland and Northern Ireland are most at risk from e-crime and fraud, says the Federation of Small Business.

In a survey of crime against businesses by Glamorgan University and published late last year, the FSB found that small businesses are losing more than £1000 a month on average to criminals.

"Credit card fraud (33.4%), e-crime (30.2%) and identity fraud (29.9%) were most prevalent in Scotland," the FSB said. Northern Ireland showed high levels of employee fraud (30.3%), employee theft (32.9%) and cheque fraud (36.8%), it said.

The average cost of crime to businesses in Northern Ireland was £76,715, while in Scotland the average was £41,255. The national average was £13,354, the FSB said.

In the past two years, one in four companies had been hit by e-crime, identity fraud, arson and assault, the FSB said.

The FSB said, "Many (business) owners do not consider that the criminal justice system is achieving positive results. The view that (government-sponsored) Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships is actually assisting in crime reduction is fairly rare across all sectors."

Two-thirds were not aware of neighbourhood policing units (NPUs), and less than 4% had regular contact with their NPU, it said. Owners had more confidence in Business Watch and Shop Watch schemes as crime deterrants, it said.


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