One-third of businesses impacted by crime in the last year, survey finds

One-third of businesses impacted by crime in the last year, survey finds

One-third of businesses have been the victim of crime in the last twelve months, a survey has found.

The Irish SME Association (ISME) published the results of its annual crime survey today which found that 34% of businesses have been impacted by crime in the last year, a 1% decrease on 2017 figures.

66% of respondents experienced more than two incidents, while 23% stated crime in their locality is ‘getting worse’.

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.


A quarter of businesses reported higher insurance premiums as a direct result of business crime, while 87% of SME business owners see the judicial system as ineffective.

Here are some of the other key findings:

  • 15% of businesses were the victim of false personal injury claims
  • 26% of businesses have experienced cyber-crime
  • 43% have been the victim of credit card fraud
  • 85% receive spam related emails
  • The highest incidence of crime was reported in Leinster
  • 18% reported that they would not report the crime for fear of higher insurance costs.
  • 14% of businesses have had their social media hacked.

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."

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,” he said.

The survey was conducted in the second week of September, with a 13% response rate from businesses.

Digital Desk