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Business Burglary

There is a lot you can do to reduce the risk of your business being targeted by burglars.

The following advice focuses on the business environment such as assets, stock, security and procedures.

Assets and Stock

Assets:

  • Make sure there is a note of the make, model and serial number of each piece of equipment.
  • Mark all equipment.
  • High-value equipment or equipment essential for your business should be secured in a separate room and access to the room controlled.
  • Fire-resistant safes should store important information.
  • Computers need to be protected by firewalls and anti-virus software.
  • Signs, such as 'no cash kept on premises' can deter criminals.

Stock:

There are a number of simple steps you can take to make stock more secure:

  • Keep records of your stock and do regular stock checks.
  • Keep stock away from doors.
  • Keep high value stock somewhere more secure.
  • Limit the number of people that have access to the stock room.
  • Put away stock as soon as possible after delivery.

Business Environment

This is the area around your business, for example the street, retail park or pedestrian area. It is worth looking after the appearance of your premises - a well maintained business exterior as it gives the customer a good first impression and helps increase feelings of security. If the business in a run-down state is more likely to attract a criminal.

You should:

  • Remove graffiti and rubbish quickly.
  • Try to form partnerships with other businesses to share the security costs.

Securing you area:

  • Walk round your boundary, checking for weak areas.
  • Ensure the boundary is built from appropriate material and is secure and well maintained.
  • Secure gates, doors and other entrances when frequent access is not needed.
  • Imagine you're a criminal and look for opportunities for crime (eg. climbing walls or fences, bins that can be used to climb over a wall or start a fire, hiding places, areas with poor light).
  • Secure or remove anything which might be used to break in or cause damage.
  • Improve visibility by cutting back vegetation, moving bins or improving lighting.

Security and Procedures

Security:

An alarm-receiving centre monitors alarm activations so calls can be passed to a security company, the police or someone who has a key.

Intruder alarms may need to be supported by other security devices. These can include CCTV, devices that generate smoke (to impair intruders vision) or chemical marker systems. All technical systems must be regularly maintained and used responsibly.

Whatever the size of your business, your staff need to be involved in improving security at your business.

You need to:

  • Train all staff in security and safety and your emergency and security procedures.
  • Ensure all personal property is kept out of sight and locked away, e.g. in lockers or a locked draw.
  • Protect staff from theft and violence, e.g. screens.
  • Check the identity of visitors and people making deliveries.
  • Make visitors aware of the security measures you have taken to make them feel safer. This will also put off criminals.

Staff working alone can be especially vulnerable. You can reduce the risk to them with a few simple measures:

  • personal alarms
  • radio link schemes
  • controlled access or CCTV (with audio)
  • automatic warning devices which are set off if the person doesn't report in at a set time
  • regular checks either by phone or in person

Every business should have adequate security and safety procedures. These can include:

  • Locking a delivery door immediately after delivery.
  • Staff reporting suspicious behaviour.
  • Reducing the amount of cash on the premises.
  • Transferring excess cash into a tamper-proof unit.
  • Removing cash from each till over night and leaving the till draw open.
  • Removing all keys from the premises.
  • Taking cash to the bank as often as possible.
  • Avoiding paying wages in cash.
  • Always counting cash out of sight.
  • Procedures for handling credit and debit cards - use chip and pin.