Impact Statement for Business (ISB)
What is an Impact Statement for Business?
Under the Victims’ Code, all businesses or enterprises (such as charities) that have had criminal offences committed against them are entitled to make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB) to set out how the offence(s) have affected the business.
An Impact Statement for Business (ISB) is a written statement, which is intended to provide businesses that have been victims of crime with a voice in the criminal justice process.
Where they are considered appropriate, courts can take account of the ISB when deciding what sentence to impose on the offender(s).
An ISB gives the business an opportunity to set out the impact a crime has had on it. This can include direct financial loss, as well as wider impacts (operational disruption or reputational damage).
When should an Impact Statement be completed?
The impact statement can be taken at any time, you do not have to wait for a suspect to be arrested to provide it.
As well as crimes such as theft, the statement can cover Anti-Social Behaviour, or community problems such as begging, if it is affecting the business.
Copies of the ISB can be held by both the business and police for future relevant use.
What information should be included in the Impact Statement?
- The information provided in an ISB should be limited to the impact this particular crime has had on the business (unless, for example, this crime results from the repeat offending of the same offender)
- Record details of direct financial costs, which would include a detailed explanation of the assets that have been lost or stolen
- Include details where a business has suffered a loss of custom, which would be an indirect financial cost, impact on customer confidence, staff time, expenditure on security measures (CCTV, physical infrastructure), medical expenses, contractors
- You should also record details of the non-financial impact, such as reputational damage, injuries to staff or customers
- An overall summary of costs from similar criminality may be relevant, for example shoplifting costs to the location each year.
What information should NOT be included in the Impact Statement?
- Do not record opinion or recommendations on the sentence or sanctions that the court should impose.
- Do not use the ISB as a means to record details of compensation sought, this should be done separately.
Who should provide the statement?
The impact statement can cover one location, a number of locations, a region or the entire business depending on size. The statement will have the most impact, if giving details of multiple offences by the same offender at one location.
A ‘nominated representative’ must be authorised to give a statement on behalf of the business and must be in a position to give evidence in court about the impact of the crime on the business, therefore a contract security guard may not be the most appropriate person.
Guidance on completing an ISB and template
For more information and guidcan on completing an ISB click the links below: