SHOPKEEPERS were today urged to improve security after a report showed that many retailers are repeatedly targeted by criminals.
A survey by insurer Eagle Star said that burglaries cost UK small shopkeepers £30m in the past three years.
The survey said that one in seven small retailers has suffered break-ins at least once since 2000.
Of those, one in five had been targeted twice and one in 10 had been hit three times.
One in six of the burglary victims lost equipment and stock worth more than £3,000.
Figures for the north-east, including Yorkshire, showed that 12% of retailers had been targeted at least once in the past three years. Of those, a third had been victims twice and a similar proportion had been hit three times.
However, many small shopkeepers were not doing enough to deter crime, the survey said.
Some 42% of those polled in the region had no closed-circuit TV coverage in the stores and 56% had no outside security lighting.
And 22% admitted that their security arrangements "could be better".
Steve Wilson, managing director of Eagle Star Small Business Direct, said: "When you are busy running a small business, making sure that you have the right locks is often low on your list of priorities.
"But our research suggests that it really is worth putting a couple of hours aside to try and make sure that you have adequate security measures in place.
"Anything that can save you money in the long term has to be a worthwhile investment."
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