The Home Office estimates that the total cost of crime in Britain each year is £59.9 billion. This figure represents much more than just the value of goods that may have been stolen, it includes:

  • Spending on security to prevent crime;
  • The cost of treating victims of crime in hospital;
  • Lost wages; and
  • The cost of running the criminal justice system – courts, police, prisons, and all.

With all that money being lost and spent, there is also plenty of it to be made. More and more the government is looking to private companies to provide services within the criminal justice system:

  • There are now ten private prisons in the United Kingdom.
  • These prisons hold 9 per cent of the prison population.
  • They are run by multinational companies such as Group 4, Premier, Serco, Sodexho and Securicor.
  • In September 2014 Serco estimated that its existing UK prisons and correctional services contracts were valued at £2 billion.
  • All the Immigration Detention Centres are privately operated.
  • These and other companies also design and build prisons, transport prisoners, run holding cells in courts, supply food, supply the police with equipment and so on.

Crime is big business

The criminal justice system and business are linked in other ways too. For example, the Prison Service is seeking to increase partnerships with industries, supplying machinery and a workforce in return for training.