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Police reductions anger small businesses

Thu, 18 Jan 2007 17:11:18 GMT

The government's decision to reduce police numbers to 6,000 by 2011 in Northern Ireland has caused consternation among members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

According to the group, its Lifting the Barriers to Growth survey shows that levels of business crime in Northern Ireland are worse than anywhere else in the UK, with two thirds of businesses having experienced crime in the last year.

"The business community is already angry about the current high level of crime and reducing the numbers of police officers will make an unacceptable situation even worse," said Bertie Carson, FSB policing & justice spokesperson.

FSB figures suggest that Northern Irish businesses were already frustrated with the police, with one in three firms suggesting it was a "waste of time even reporting crime to the police as it achieved very little".

A survey carried out by the FSB in 2005 showed that the most frequent crimes against small businesses were vandalism, vehicle damage and burglary.

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