Yob culture cost UK business £10bn

smashed windowYobs cost British business an average of £4,000 a year or nearly £10bn in total.

That's the staggering consequences of anti-social behaviour compiled by Britain's biggest insurer RSA. Its survey found that yob culture caused business losses last year of £9.8bn. That included: petty theft, broken windows and doors, graffiti, littering and intimidation or harassment.

Putting the boot in

The findings show that almost one in five businesses were hit hard by yob culture last year, at an average cost of just over £20,000 for each affected business.

Broken doors and windows and petty theft were said to be the two most common types of yob behaviour experienced, affecting as many as half of all businesses surveyed.

Looking ahead to this year, 37% of businesses say they expect yob culture to increase as a result of ongoing economic volatility, and employers expect it to cost them more year-on-year at £26,000 on average – a clear indication that Britain's yob culture is a growing problem.

Big business worst hit

Although yob culture affects all sizes and types of business, there are significant variations in the scale of its impact. In 2011, yob culture cost large businesses the most at an average of £40,000 and is expected to impact them the greatest again this year at an anticipated cost of £62,000 per business.

There are also stark differences between specific sectors. In 2011, engineering and utilities were most likely to be affected, but the cost to business was highest in construction (£66,000 per business) and transport (£53,000).

This year, businesses expecting to be hardest hit are utilities (£65,000), finance & business services (£52,000) and construction (£40,000).

Scotland tops the league table

Looking at the 11 UK regions surveyed, businesses in Scotland were most likely to be affected by yob culture in 2011 at 48%, yet the cost to individual businesses was highest in the Midlands at over £64,000 in the East Midlands and nearly £80,000 in the West Midlands.

In Scotland and London, around a third of businesses say they have even considered relocating as a result of the impact of yob culture.

Commenting on the findings, Jon Hancock, managing director, commercial at RSA, said: "This research shows that Britain's yob culture is having a tangible and negative impact on British businesses up and down the country. Honest businesses of all sizes and types right across the country are footing the bill for what is socially unacceptable behaviour."

Cost to businesses in 2011 (expected 2012)

  • Scotland £7,871.61 (£26,537.27) +237%
  • Wales £2,297.38 (£9,422.26) +310%
  • North East £2,888.00 (£7,132.19) +147%
  • North West £8,047.72 (£14,176.55) +76%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside £1,988.00 (£12,657.48) +537%
  • East £1,100.33 (£10,154.21) +823%
  • East Midlands £64,665.08 (£65,973.93) +2%
  • West Midlands £79,562.20 (£73,746.26) -7%
  • London £13,581.57 (£51,369.65) +278%
  • South East £29,600.50 (£20,831.96) -30%
  • South West £11,025.50 (£63,229.39) +473%

By sector (expected 2012)

  • Engineering £692.09 (£12,407.83) +169%
  • Retail & Hospitality £6,747.78 (£16,935.97) +151%
  • Transport £53,452.90 (£19,477.10) -64%
  • Construction £66,169.73 (£40,411.10) -39%
  • Finance & Business Services £26,151.24 (£52,075.55) +100%
  • Utilities £38,433.00 (£65,403.92) +70%
  • Agriculture £12.75 (£1,607.36) +12,510%
  • Manufacturing £1,965.50 (£1,909.99) +3%

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