The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that 64% of small businesses were victims of crime over the past year but that less than half of incidents were reported to the police.

Small businesses are losing an average of £13,000 each a year to shoplifting, vandalism and other crime, according to an FSB survey.

Retail and wholesale respondents fared worst than most, with 70% saying they had been victims of crime in the past year, with shoplifting the most common crime (49.1%). Over 43% of respondents experienced vandalism over the period.

FSB national policy chairman John Walker was worried that more crimes against small businesses were going unreported. He said: "The FSB is concerned that the figures are much higher, as our survey indicates that only about 45% of firms that experienced crime actually reported it."

He urged businesses and local police to work together more. "We need to see police directly engaging with the business community to encourage people to report crimes," he said.