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Business crime

Some crimes affect businesses, with criminals targeting property or staff. Business crime should not be considered a ‘victimless’ crime – its effects on the witnesses and victims involved can be profound.

There are three types of physical targets in business:

  • Buildingsincluding garages and stores.
  • Propertycash, stock and equipment.
  • Peoplestaff, security guards, visitors and customers.

Businesses are also at risk from fraud, violence, criminal damage or computer-data theft.


Business robbery takes a variety of forms, but most robberies can be grouped into one of the following types:

Violent till snatches

The target in these attacks is the cash in your till. They are sometimes carried out by amateurs and often involve a single offender.

Organised robbery
The target here is usually more than the cash in the till: for example, cash in the safe or high value stock. These robberies can involve a show of force usually with more than one offender taking over part or the entire store. The offenders may have weapons or carry firearms.

Cash in transit
‘Cash in Transit’ (or CIT) robbery involves security cash collectors being robbed by highly organised armed gangs, but robbers also target staff who are taking cash to the bank or to deposit in the night safe.

How it can affect you

If you have been affected by a robbery, you are likely to feel very distressed. Being faced by a criminal who wants to take something from you by force, and who possibly has a weapon, is a traumatic experience.

Everyone responds differently and none of these feelings will be ‘wrong’. Some people feel numb, others feel angry or scared, and some people suffer anxiety, even long after the robbery has taken place.

However you feel and whatever has happened, you are not alone and help is available, regardless of how long ago the robbery took place.

Find help and support

If your premises are robbed, bear in mind the trauma your staff members are likely to have suffered. Get advice about counselling, and refer those affected to this website or other resources.

If you have been affected by a robbery, perhaps as a customer or member of staff, we can help.

Crime prevention

Make sure that your staff know what to do in the event of a robbery. They are less likely to get hurt if they cooperate with the robbers’ demands; they must keep calm and not make sudden movements or take risks by 'having a go'.

On a positive note, train them to observe details about the robbers such as hair and eye colour, height, build, clothing, sound of voice or accent. This will improve the chances of detection, make staff feel less helpless and gives them confidence that they are fighting back.

Try to get staff to record details of offenders and the incident immediately after it has taken place. This will increase the quality of evidence available to the police.

How to report it

In an emergency: dial 999

An emergency is when a crime is being committed or has just been witnessed, there is a risk of injury, or a risk of serious damage to property.

In a non-emergency: dial 101

Use this number to report a non-emergency incident or make a general inquiry.

Report anonymously

Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is a charity which is entirely independent of police and never share details with police of people who have got in touch.

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