21 Jun How to Protect Your Business Against Common Criminals
2016 research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggests that crime against businesses in the UK is on the increase with 48% of businesses experiencing non-cyber crime. The FSB also found that 41% of businesses have upgraded their business security through the installation of a variety of security systems. Security systems are only one of the effective ways in which businesses can protect themselves against crime. Solutions such as security doors, steel bollards and security gates can also play an important part. We look at how you can protect your assets against common criminals and crime proof your business.
Undertake risk assessment
Risk assessment should be the starting point for any security installation and should be built into your management schedule. Risk assessments can help you to make choices, for example a thorough risk assessment might highlight where best to install security doors. Whilst internal risk assessments are a very important way of ensuring that management understand security requirements it can also be useful to ask a third party or specialist agency in to help.
Secure your premises
Ensuring that your premises are secure both during and outside working hours is the first step in business crime prevention. All windows should be lockable and locked outside business hours, security doors should be strengthened and lockable. Padlocks are recommended for areas that are not frequently used. In high-risk areas consider the use of shutters or grills and install a security alarm. Look carefully at your outside areas and consider security gates to make access to your premises difficult outside working hours.
Install steel bollards and security gates
Both steel bollards and security gates can be a super-effective way to ensure that criminals can’t drive a get-away vehicle near to your property. This represents an obvious deterrent to the organised thief, as there is only a limited amount of stolen goods that can be carried away by hand. Security gates and bollards can also serve to protect your staff whilst they are on the premises.
Ensure security training
Any security system is only as good as the people who operate it and your business security planning should include:
- Methods of recognising suspicious behaviour
- How to report crime to management
- Routinely emptying tills
- Access rules for different areas
- What to do should a serious and/or violent threat present itself
Install a CCTV system
A CCTV system will not only act as a deterrent to prospective criminals, it will also help to bring perpetrators to justice. Your business surveillance specialist should advise you as to how to ensure that you meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act. You also need to be aware that, when asked, you have an obligation to share any CCTV images with authorities such as the police.
Safeguard business assets
Your business assets include IT equipment, phones, tools and other equipment. These can be expensive to replace and their loss may result in business downtime. Business assets should be protected by permanent and visible markings showing company details. It is also important to keep a record of purchase dates, makes, models and serial numbers of all company assets. Whilst these records may not deter thieves, they could assist in the recovery of your property.
Use a safe
It is not just cash that will benefit from the security of a safe, important business papers and other valuables can be kept in there too. Ensure your safe is strongly anchored with bolts to prevent thieves from removing the whole safe.
Install adequate lighting
Criminal activity occurs more often in areas where it is easy to hide. As well as clearing overgrown shrubs and other plants away from your premises it is important to check that you have adequate lighting, including security lighting that will detect motion. This applies to outside and inside areas of your premises.
Hire security personnel
If you keep high-value items on your premises or if you have been subject to previous crimes you may be at the point of consider hiring security personnel. Always hire from a reliable and recommended security company that is SIA accredited. Protection coverage can be varied to suit your budget and you will be able to choose either mobile patrols who work from vehicles, patrol more than one property and allocate random times for visits or static guards who stay with your property.
Talk to your neighbours
Getting to know your nearest business neighbours will give you some insight into how often they have experienced crime, what types of crime this has been and what measures they have put in place as deterrents. By collaborating with other businesses you may well find that you can share the costs of security measures such as security fencing, security patrols and CCTV.
Being the victim of crime can be upsetting, especially for the small business owner who risks seeing the profits of his or her hard work disappearing. The costs of repairs, replacing lost assets and maybe even increased insurance premiums can be prohibitive and far outweigh what you would have spent on security measures beforehand. At Blackburn and Co Ltd we offer a full range of metal fabrication services including security barriers, security gates and steel bollards. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you with business security for your premises.