Australian Institute of Criminology

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Financial and psychological costs of crime for small retail businesses

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 229

Natalie Taylor and Pat Mayhew
ISBN 0 642 24266 6 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2002


Based on the 1999 Small Business Crime Survey, this paper provides an overview of the financial costs and psychological impact of crime experienced by a sample of 3,834 Australian small retail businesses. Losses varied according to the type of retail sector, with liquor outlets experiencing the highest losses. Larger businesses (five to 19 employees) had higher crime costs than smaller businesses. The highest losses overall were from burglary and shoplifting. Psychological costs were substantial, with one in four victims of burglary and one in two victims of robbery feeling fearful after the event, while one in five victims of robbery experienced difficulty attending the premises where the crime occurred.