Police forces are highlighting the opportunity for companies to complete an Impact Statement for Business, setting out the effects that a particular crime has had in respect of direct financial loss, operational disruption and reputational damage. Courts will then take the Impact Statement for Business into account when determining sentence.
According to Simon Chapman, managing director of Lodge Service, the process of producing an Impact Statement for Business (ISB) also enables directors to understand and quantify the costs of crime for the business and then evaluate the return on investment from security protection and loss prevention measures as well as civil recovery proceedings.
If directors choose not to make a statement at the outset of the proceedings, they may not have another opportunity to make one later on. This is simply because the case in question may be dealt with by the courts very quickly.
The Impact Statement for Business itemises areas where losses may have occurred for an organisation. These may well include the following:
*Direct financial losses: assets lost or stolen
*Damage to buildings and property
*Other indirect financial costs: loss of custom, impact on consumer confidence, staff time, expenditure on security measures, medical expenses, costs associated with contractual staff
*Non-financial impacts such as reputational damage and physical injuries sustained by staff or customers
“This information can also be used for the preparation of civil recovery proceedings which enables organisations to recoup losses through civil law remedies,” explained Chapman.
Service users can pursue compensation for associated investigation and management costs of civil recovery including the collation of witness statements, examining supporting data, reviewing CCTV footage, interviewing members of staff and further investigations.
“This remedy is useful if the police decide not to act,” stated Chapman, “or the offender is issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice requiring no Court time, in which case there will probably be no compensation for commercial losses or for the staff time and additional costs to the organisation.”