Letter: The cost of burglary

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Sir: I am sickened by the latest IRA bombing of the City and I have every sympathy with the companies that have been affected by it.

However, I would like to draw your readers' attention to another atrocity that is costing companies millions of pounds: burglary.

We are a small national medical research charity struggling to raise funds for research into the diseases of the elderly, and in the past four days our new premises have been burgled twice and valuable equipment has been taken each time. The police have advised us that in all probability, someone has a full list of our remaining equipment and as soon as an 'order' is raised we will be victims of yet another (hopefully this time, attempted) burglary.

Not only do burglaries hit the victim financially, through insurance excesses, loaded future premiums and cost of lock repairs, etc, they take up valuable time. Police interviewing, fingerprinting, replacing stolen items, and so on, have taken up valuable hours from my staff's days. Morale in our small office has also plummeted. Who wants to be first into an office that may have been plundered the night before? What is to be done about this sad and expensive trend in our society?

Yours faithfully,

ELIZABETH MILLS

Director, Research Into Ageing

London, EC1

29 April

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