October 2016 is national home security month – time for both personal and commercial addresses to take note of protecting businesses against crime.
In the UK, the need for good home security systems is clear thanks to a report from the Office of National Statistics which states that, between April 2015 and March 2016, there were 400,361 police-recorded burglary offences.
That’s 1,096 burglaries per day. More commercial burglaries occurred than domestic offences – with 206,588 committed against businesses and 193,773 against domestic premises.
In 2013, a study into the cost of crime against businesses found that, aside from burglary, there was a high rate of theft by customers in wholesale and retail premises – with 11,425 incidents per 1,000 premises in urban areas and 3,811 incidents per 1,000 premises in rural locations.
Despite this, burglary is still the highest threat – with the average burglary costing £1,376 per incident compared to the £40 to £500 cost per incident for other types of crime against businesses.
GPS Installations, a security company, explains what is involved in protecting businesses.
What can a commercial business do to defend itself from burglars?
The average security spend by businesses was £376 – but with the average cost of a commercial burglary far outweighing this, are businesses doing enough?
Take the average security system, which uses HD external cameras to capture thefts. A quality installation that will capture all angles of your premises can cost a fair amount – but seem more than worth it.
A University of Leicester study finds that CCTV is the best deterrent to pre-planned crime. This also carried over to CCTV warning signs, indicating that criminals actively avoid stealing from households and premises that seemed knowledgeable about crime and prevention.
However, CCTV has little to no reduction when it comes to city centre and public housing estate crime. A study by the UK police force finds that that combined usage of CCTV with other measures is the most effective way to reduce crime.
One of those measures which all businesses can afford to invest in are burglar alarms. A good alarm system is a must, as it will alert passers-by and even local authorities of crime against your property.
Burglar alarms are one of the best deterrents available, especially when paired with exterior motion sensor lights. A property protected by these measures is far less likely to be burgled. However, for warehouse or industrial businesses, increased lighting may just make it easier for burglars to work.
Good locks are still the single most important element of home security – so building a key safety routine into your staff training regime is crucial. Each and every member of the business should understand their responsibilities when it comes to locks.
However, because commercial premises are typically subject to opportunistic attacks such as ‘smash and grab’ theft, you’ll also have to consider elements that a homeowner wouldn’t. Statistics show that businesses who have been burgled are likely to be attacked again – so investing in stronger measures will help prevent repeated theft.
Tips for protecting businesses security
Hide or reduce any visible stock from public areas to stop opportunists from taking advantage of easy to grab property.
It is wise to not keep cash on a premises over night, even if it is hidden and stored, so banking leftover cash is a must.
Strengthen potential entrance areas, including glass panels and doors. You should seek materials that comply to a minimum standard of BS8220. Locks should have at least the quality of a five lever mortice lock conforming to BS3621.
Fit a safe if you’re going to leave valuable items or cash in your premises overnight, as these can be extremely difficult to both break into and move around.
Finally, if your business is particularly vulnerable and features lots of glass or entranceways, invest in roller shutters to shut out crime.
Ultimately then, the best bet for protecting businesses is to invest in increased security measures such as stronger locks and lighting – but also investing in a CCTV system to track any attempts at their property.