West Midlands and the North are most affected by recession

Halifax is the number-one spot in the country for business crime, with recession-led crime biting hardest in the North and North East, latest figures reveal.

AXA’s business crime index shows that around one in 16 businesses in Halifax were a victim of business crime for the first half of this year.

On a wider regional basis, Greater London was the hardest hit area of the country with six postcode areas in the top 20, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber, North West England and the West Midlands, largely reflecting statistics that show the recession is hitting the West Midlands and North the hardest.

Arson, theft, robbery and malicious damage were the most common crimes afflicting the UK.

AXA estimates that insures pay on average around £3,806 for a claim. Forcible theft claims stood at nearly £4,500 for the first half of 2009, while arson claims averaged a massive £17,200.

AXA head of customer risk management Doug Barnett is urging companies to take precautions in the run-up to Christmas, normally the worst time for retail crime, and also to not cut back on insurance during the recession.

Barnett said: “Crime against business is a serious issue and this year we are concerned that the continuing recession could prompt a rise around the Christmas period. We would urge all businesses to work with local communities and police to protect themselves, as well as taking sensible precautions, not least making sure they are properly insured should the worst happen.

“With 36,200 businesses predicted to fail in 2009, we can’t stress enough the importance of insurance to avoid becoming part of that depressing statistic. Business crime can have a devastating impact on a business and its employees. We hope we can work with the business community to keep this to a minimum this Christmas.”

Top 20 business crime areas

  • 1. Halifax
  • 2. Manchester
  • 3. Bristol
  • 4. Croydon
  • 5. London SE
  • 6. Northampton
  • 7. London EC
  • 8. Oldham
  • 9. Sutton
  • 10. Bradford
  • 11. Doncaster
  • 12. Wakefield
  • 13. Dudley
  • 14. Enfield
  • 15. Liverpool
  • 16. Wigan
  • 17. Motherwell
  • 18. Walsall
  • 19. St Albans
  • 20. Southall

Data: AXA