Giving victims of business crime a voice
When a business becomes a victim of crime it can have far reaching impacts including financial loss, loss of custom, medical expenses, staff left physically injured or traumatised as well as reputational damage and loss of customer confidence.
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 crime has impacted them.
The ISB is a written statement intended to provide businesses that have been victims of crime with a voice in the criminal justice process. The statement can then be used as part of the evidence and taken into consideration by the court when sentencing.
Suraj Minocha OBE, Senior Court Business Advisor at the Crown Prosecution Service Court Business Unit said: “Where they are considered appropriate, courts can take account of the ISB when deciding what sentence to impose on the offender(s), as an ISB gives the business an opportunity to set out the impact a crime has had on it.
“These statements, significantly assist the prosecutor to inform the court of any direct financial loss, as well as wider impacts (operational disruption or reputational damage). The court is then able to consider these, when deciding sentencing and this supports a just outcome.”
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 and copies of the ISB can be held by both the business and police for future relevant use.
The ISB 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.
Impact statements can be taken at any time, you do not have to wait for a suspect to be arrested to provide it.
The National Business Crime Centre have a detailed Impact Statements for Business guide on our website, click the image below: