More than nine in 10 retailers believe a recent surge in crime has impacted customers, an NFU Mutual survey has found.

The study, conducted by the commercial insurer, found that almost one-third (30%) of retailers said the crime wave was contributing to the decline of the high street and reducing footfall in shops.

James Jordan, commercial specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Our study clearly shows that retailers feel a recent surge in crime has impacted customers and is affecting the fabric of our vital high streets.

“It is concerning to see so many of our retailers say shoppers have been affected by the rise in crime, but it’s good to see so many trying to do something about it – with our survey showing 82% of those asked saying they have taken security measures this year to try and protect their businesses.

“Retailers are right at the heart of our communities and it is imperative customers feel safe and maintain trust in the high street, especially during the current economic climate."

Many retailers (36%) said there is less trust and communication between retailers and consumers, with 31% saying they were seeing an increase in internet shopping as crime takes its toll on the UK high street.