UK Security Companies Most at Risk from Violent Crime in Europe

Image of a man holding a knife and trying to stab someone in the UKIn the ‘World Security Report’ published by G4S, it was found that violent criminals represent a significant threat to UK companies over the next 12 months, surpassing the levels reported in other surveyed European countries.

The study involved 1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) from 30 countries, representing large global companies with a combined revenue exceeding $20 trillion. In the UK, 42% of respondents reported concerns about potential threats from violent criminals. This percentage was notably higher than the global and European averages, which stood at 33% and 30%, respectively, and also exceeded the previous year’s figure of 29%.

The second most likely threat actor groups in the UK were subversives, including hackers, protestors, or spies, and petty criminals, both reported at 40%. Economic criminals ranked third at 37%.

A substantial majority of UK CSOs, 87%, anticipated an increase in physical security threats over the next 12 months. In response, prioritizing the duty of care to employees emerged as a top concern for UK CSOs, with 48% of participants indicating it as a driving factor for increased security spending. This percentage exceeded the global average of 40%, and no other European country gave duty of care such high importance.

The impact of security incidents, both internal and external, resulted in a 33% loss of revenue for UK companies over the past year, which was higher than the European average (28%) and the global average. Consequently, 40% of respondents confirmed their intentions to significantly increase their security budgets in the next 12 months, with a particular focus on enhancing physical security measures.

Economic unrest was identified as the most concerning security-impacting hazard for 42% of respondents in the coming year. Additionally, when asked about factors likely to drive an increase in security budgets in the same period, half of the UK CSOs cited an economic downturn, a percentage higher than the global average of 42%.

G4S LogoFiona 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.”