Combating crime against small businesses is not being given high enough priority by law enforcers, business leaders have said.

Senior members of the region's Federation of Small Businesses are to meet Cambridgeshire's police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite later this month to discuss the issue.

Graham Buck, regional chairman, said: "Our members feel that currently crime against small business is often not prioritised by law enforcement and consequently is not as speedily and effectively dealt with as they would like it to be.

"This needs to change and we shall be asking the PCC to make crime against small business a key focus of the policing plans for Cambridgeshire."

The FSB, which represents the interests of small firms, has calculated that the average cost of crime to a small business is £6,000, a significant loss which could not be absorbed easily.

Mr Ablewhite said: "Part of my role is to listen to and understand the concerns of all people and groups in the County and I very much look forward to meeting with FSB later this month.

"Cybercrime is a particular issue that affects more and more organisations and can be catastrophic to a business affecting hundreds of people."

Two regional chairman and three branch chairman will form the FSB delegation which will meet Mr Ablewhite on November 27 where they will discuss the types of crime which affect small businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and how the issue can be tackled.

Mr Buck, Doug Balderson, Malcolm Lyons, Alan Todd and Aasiyha Joseph will tell the commissioner that crime against business hurts the wider community and that small businesses are often less able to absorb the cost.

Research by the FSB has shown that two thirds of businesses surveyed have been a victim of cybercrime and almost half have been a victim of non-internet related offending. Well over half of small businesses have been a victim of both.

The FSB also found that many small firms do not report crimes against their businesses because they did not believe it would achieve anything.