Yobs 'cost businesses £20,000 a year'

... and businesses reckon their yob-related costs will increase this year, too, according to a survey.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 16 Feb 2012
Last year’s riots had a devastating effect on businesses across the UK, but a new survey reckons that they were symptomatic of a more serious situation: apparently, ‘yob’ culture is on the rise. Not just the kind of yob culture that wakes you up 3am as a herd of football fans shuffles its way past shouting ‘Laaaaaaaaaaaads’, either. This is the more serious kind: the graffiti, harassment, lobbing-a-brick-through-your-window kind. In other words: batten down the hatches.

According to the research by insurer RSA, one in five businesses were impacted by yob culture last year, costing those affected an average of £20,000 each. And while you’d have thought the riots would have pushed the averages up, the majority of the crimes involved were rather pettier than that, with broken windows and doors and theft accounting for nearly half of the business’ woes.

The bad news is that more than a third expect their oik-related bills to go up this year – the average business owner reckons the total damage done to their business will come to about £26,000. The good news (for small businesses at least) is that larger businesses are more likely to be affected: this year, big businesses shelled out about £40,000 each – which they think will go up to £62,000 this year.

Now obviously, RSA has insurance to flog – so Jon Hancock, its ‘managing director, commercial’ reminds businesses that ‘preparing for the risks they face and having the right level of protection in place (aka taking out an enormous insurance policy) should not be underestimated. I would encourage all employers to carefully consider how they can protect themselves in order to safeguard the future.’ Quite.

Of course, you could just pre-empt things by commissioning the local graffiti artist to do an enormous mural on your building, or alternatively, hire a round-the-clock security detail, complete with guard dogs. Judging by the amount insurance premiums have gone up lately, it may be the cheaper option…
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