One In Three Businesses Impacted By Crime


ISME, the Irish SME Association has published its annual crime survey. 34% of businesses have been the victim of crime in the last twelve months, with 66% of businesses experiencing more than two incidents.

The Association makes eleven recommendations to Government, law enforcement, and business to help reduce crimes.This survey was conducted in the second week of September, with a 13% response rate.

54% of whom employ less than 10; 39% employ between 11 and 49; and the remaining 8% employ between 50 and 249. 56% of enterprises are located in urban areas around the country, while 28% are based solely in rural areas.

16% of enterprises have their businesses located in both urban and rural parts of the country.

Commenting on today’s report ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said;

“Today’s results highlight the threats facing business. Crime not only reduces profit and increases costs; it affects both corporate reputation and employee morale.”

“There are several concerns highlighted in today’s report. One particular area is the impact crime is having on insurance premiums. 18% of businesses would not report a crime for fear of increased insurance premiums; furthermore, 24% of businesses experienced higher insurance premiums as direct result of business crime.

“In this report we make eleven recommendations to law enforcement agencies and government, which would help reduce crime against business.”

“The costs associated with business crime impact business sustainability. We hope this report will maintain Government focus on crime against business and employers. We need much more aggressive enforcement against white-collar crime such as insurance fraud and cyber-crime.”


The Main Findings Are:

  1. 34% of companies have been the target of criminal activity in the last 12 months; a 1% decrease on the 2017 figures.
  2. 41% of enterprises stated the direct cost of criminal activity was €1,000-€5,000, while 5% of business stated that direct cost was more than €10,000.
  3. 23% of respondents stated crime in their locality is ‘getting worse’.
  4. 15% of businesses were the victim of false or exaggerated personal injury claims. After the direct cost of crime, ‘increased security costs’ at 46% have the biggest impact of crime on business (down from 54% in 2017). This is followed by ‘disruptions to trading’ as reported by 37% of respondents (up from 32% in 2017).
  5. 24% of businesses reported higher insurance premiums as a direct result of business crime.
  6. 18% reported that they would not report the crime for fear of higher insurance costs.
  7. 43% have been the victim of credit card fraud, while 14% of businesses have had their social media hacked.