Criminal and Civil
A relatively small percentage of incidents of theft, fraud or criminal damage at clients’ premises result in any criminal prosecution. Even in cases where there is a criminal conviction, invariably, no compensation is ordered. Where compensation is ordered, the maximum is the value of the primary loss - items stolen. It is not the remit of the Criminal Courts to order compensation for other business losses, which arise from the internal costs of investigation, apprehension, and disruption to the business.
Whilst the Criminal Justice System constantly strives to tackle retail and business crime, such as the introduction of Fixed Penalties for low value shop theft and anti-social disorder, there are simply not the resources for the Criminal Justice System in the UK to process the majority of incidents of theft and fraud, particularly those considered a low value. The Police, the CPS and the Courts have to prioritise higher levels of crime and disorder.
It is also not uncommon for cases running into several thousands of pounds loss, to not be prosecuted by the Police due to complexity, inability to establish beyond all reasonable doubt, or deemed not in the public interest.
More and more businesses are therefore turning to civil law remedies as a way to reduce criminal activity and as a means to recoup some of their vast losses. Whilst businesses benefit from civil recovery, there is also a benefit to the wider public, as businesses can remain competitive and keep the costs of goods and services down for the consumer. Further, research clearly shows the earlier the detection of criminal behaviour the more chance there is of successfully rehabilitating an individual.