The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has stated that small firms are incurring costs of nearly £17 billion each year as a result of so-called 'business crime'.
The business group has called for the government to increase police numbers. According to the FSB, increasing police numbers could prove to be a 'critical step' in helping to prevent and investigate business crime.
The FSB has called for the Home Office to link funding to the 'proper resourcing of business crime'.
'At a time of huge uncertainty and increasing costs, business crime is a serious issue that is devastating firms up and down the country,' said Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB.
'These figures come before other indirect costs such as store closures and staff absences are even taken into account, meaning that the £17 billion figure is estimated to be far higher. Traditional crime, including robbery, fraud and criminal damage, affects around 900,000 small businesses each year, and we must tackle this issue before it gets even worse.'