Violent criminals pose greater threat to UK firms

London, UK

Violent criminals pose the greatest threat to UK companies in the next 12 months, more than in any other country surveyed in Europe, according to the ‘World Security Report’ published by G4S.

1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in 30 countries representing large, global companies with total revenue of more than $20 trillion took part in the first ever ‘World Security Report’.

UK threat level significantly above world average

In the UK, the potential threat from violent criminals was reported by 42% of respondents; significantly above the world and European averages of 33% and 30% respectively, and well ahead of the previous year when 29% experienced this.

Subversives - hackers, protestors, or spies - and petty criminals were both the second most likely threat actor groups at 40% and economic criminals third at 37%.

Almost 9 in 10 (87%) UK CSOs anticipate the number of physical security threats will increase over the next 12 months. In anticipation of this, duty of care to employees is a top priority for UK CSOs with 48% of participants citing this as a driver of increased spending on security, above the world average of 40%. No other country in Europe ranked duty of care as highly.

Loss of revenue due to internal and external security incidents (33%) impacted UK companies more than anywhere else in Europe in the last year and higher than the world average (28%).

To tackle this, 40% confirmed their security budgets will increase significantly over the next 12 months and half said that increasing physical security measures is their top priority for the coming year.

Economic unrest was cited by 42% of respondents as the most worrying security-impacting hazard anticipated in the next year.

When asked what was most likely to drive an increase in security budgets over the same period half of UK CSOs said an economic downturn; higher than the world average of 42%.

Increased threat environment

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. In all markets safety and security are foundations necessary for economic growth. The increased threat environment in the UK potentially impacts investment (inward and domestic) as well as the ability to attract employees and customers.”

“Prioritising employee safety and security is critical to all businesses. Every business leader has a duty of care to their employees and the CSO plays an essential role in keeping people, property and assets safe. It’s encouraging to see many companies are planning to increase their security budgets to help address these threats.”

“Our people play an integral part in helping to keep societies safe and therefore promote economic growth. Many act as first responders and are the first person that members of the public or visitors interact with at customer sites. We are very proud of the part each of them play in promoting a safer United Kingdom.”


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