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Reporting of crime against small business


A report recently released from the Australian Institute of Criminology shows that many crimes which are committed against small retail businesses go unreported to police. Results from a survey completed by 3,834 business proprietors revealed that reporting practices differed markedly, depending on both the type of crime and whether it was attempted or completed. While almost all burglaries and robberies were reported to police, very few incidents of shoplifting, employee theft and cheque/credit card fraud were reported. These results strongly indicate that patterns of crime reflected in police data do not accurately reflect patterns of crime which occur against businesses. In particular, burglary and robbery will be heavily over-represented in police data compared with theft and fraud.

All incidents experienced by type of crime


All incidents reported to police by type of crime



  • Taylor, N. 2002, "Reporting of Crime against Small Retail Businesses", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 242, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

Cite article

2003. Reporting of crime against small business. Crime facts info no. 43. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi043