On patrol in shopping area
What is business crime?
When we talk about business crime, we include any illegal act
that affects any kind of business, service or trading activity. It
covers things that are done to damage the business, illegal
activity by the business and crimes such as petty theft
committed in the workplace.
Advice and support
Securing your premises
- If you have a yard or car park, make sure its boundaries are
clear. Try to have just one entrance, and signpost it clearly. Keep
the area well lit, and remove anything that might give access to
- Check all your door and window locks and catches regularly, and
establish a routine for ensuring the building is empty before
locking up. If any keys go missing, change the locks
- During working hours, always monitor who is on the premises.
Visitors should sign in, wear identification badges, and be
escorted in and out of the building.
- High value items like computers, phones or tools should be
locked away when not being used. Security identification like UV or
engraved markings help to deter thieves.
- Keep the cash held on the premises to a minimum. High value
items should be kept in a safe, and rooms containing expensive or
important equipment should be monitored by the alarm system.
- If you use CCTV, position the cameras so that intruders can be
identified. Make sure the date and time codes are accurate, and
check at least once a month that the recordings are clear.
The best way to prevent fraud is to be aware of how
- Internal business practices should be strictly adhered to.
Carelessness leaves room for fraud. Dissatisfied employees are more
likely to be tempted, so try to ensure that any grievances are
- Treat computer password security seriously, and change
passwords regularly. Keep antivirus software up to date, back up
your data frequently and keep the backups in a safe place,
preferably away from the business.
- Ask for bank and trade references, or check credit references,
when dealing with new customers. You can also protect yourself by
asking for part payment in advance, or making partial deliveries
with interim payments. For overseas trading, consider using a
documentary credit system.
- Be alert to money laundering. Never accept commission for
channelling money through your business. The source of the money is
almost certainly illegal, and the penalties are high.
- Never give financial information to cold callers. If you or
your staff are asked for financial details by phone or by an
unsolicited email, or if payment is requested (or demanded) for
services that you did not specifically agree to, report all the
details to the police and the trading standards authorities.
How to report business crime
If you are reporting an intruder or burglar on your premises,
To report any burglary, suspected fraud or other criminal activity
that has taken place call 101.
Please report any suspicious phone calls or scam emails. We only
know about the latest scams if people tell us about them.
Couldn't find what you were looking for? Find more information in our
Frequently Asked Questions