VIOLENT criminals pose a greater threat to UK companies than any other country in Europe, a survey reveals today.
More than four out of 10 (42 per cent) major British firms reported their biggest concern was the risk from crooks using force to carry out crime.
It was significantly higher than the 30 per cent of companies in Europe who assessed their biggest threat was from violent criminals, with a similar figure reported globally.
The 'World Security Report' published by security giants G4S revealed that almost nine out of 10 (87 per cent) of UK companies polled believe physical threats to staff will increase over the next year.
Their report comes as UK retailers like Tesco and Primark offer body-worn cameras to staff over fears for their safety from violent shoplifters.
Staff safety is described as a more important priority in the UK than elsewhere because of the greater perceived threat – and is blamed for fuelling security costs.
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UK companies dealt with more incidents on average than anywhere else in the world with 40 per cent of them saying security budgets will increase significantly over the next 12 months.
The survey of 1,7775 chief security officers in 30 countries found that subversives, including hackers, protestors, commercial spies and petty criminals, were the second biggest threat.
Half of UK firms polled also said an economic downturn was the most likely thing to drive a further increase in security costs.
Fiona Walters, Regional CEO of G4S UK and Ireland, said: "Increasing threats such as workplace violence and physical security threats mean that security is more important than ever.
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"In all markets safety and security are foundations necessary for economic growth.
"The increased threat environment in the UK potentially impacts investment as well as the ability to attract employees and customers."
She added: "Prioritising employee safety and security is critical to all businesses."
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