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Burglaries soar at this time of year, with almost 450 a day reported to have taken place during Christmas 2016. And it’s not just break-ins that are a risk when premises are left unattended for extended periods of time. Criminal damage, including vandalism and arson, is also common. So too, is an increased risk of trespassing.
The best defence is to deter a would-be criminal from attempting anything in the first place. Then to minimise the potential physical and financial damage that they might cause.
For opportunist thieves, a lack of visible security measures or onsite security presence, can mark a commercial site out as being an easy target. Just bear in mind that if you go too big and visible on the security front, that may suggest to the outside world that there is something of value on site that you need to protect.
If you have valuables on site – especially if you have items that can easily be moved and sold on at a later date - then don’t advertise that fact to the outside world. On a basic level, think what can be seen through windows which might tempt someone to break in?
Aim to make the whole thing more difficult, and therefore riskier, for a would-be criminal to attempt. Use technology but also physical security measures that will deter and potentially slow a criminal in their tracks.
While every business is different, here are some steps to consider that could help reduce your risk.
Has site access been restricted wherever possible?
If it’s quick and easy to drive onto site and straight up to buildings and other premises, then it’s going to be equally easy for unwanted visitors to drive off with assets, or to trespass and even set up camp.
Have all points of entry to the building/s been checked and bolstered where necessary?
As the main entry point, the front door is often an area that many businesses will invest in, but you need to ensure that all other potential entry points are just as strong. That includes checking window frames and all other doors.
Have you checked your CCTV is working and camera lenses are clean? Do you know where any blind spots are, and have you looked at ways to manage this?
Not only are cameras a great deterrent, they can also offer legal protection in the case of a break-in. Check your CCTV system is fully operational, fit for purpose and that you have clear signs in place telling people they are being watched. It also needs to be monitored and reacted to, otherwise all you’re doing is collecting evidence.
Ensure alarms have been checked and are all in working order
That means burglar alarms but also fire alarms. Are all your tests up to date? The most common cause of fire in the UK is arson. While you can never prevent it from happening, you can reduce the likelihood. Are you following all fire safety procedures fully? Now is a good time to check.
Have an emergency response policy is in place
Have a rapid response team in place to deal with an alarm, or other emergency, should it arise. Someone responsible needs to be ‘on call’ at all times. When on duty, they need to be contactable at all times and to abstain from alcohol, in case there is a problem. It can be helpful to document your emergency response process and what you expect of those involved, to try and avert any issues down the line.
Make sure assets are locked up and out of sight
Make employees lock up their laptops, work mobiles and any other expensive equipment, when they are out of the office. This keeps them out of sight and will slow thieves down. Have these items electronically tagged and where possible, locked with a key code too. Also ensure all important documents are in a lockable, ideally fireproof, cabinet.
Get professional help
It’s not too late to get professional help! At Venture, our fully trained and licensed security operatives are supporting businesses 24/7, 365 days a year.
If you’re at all concerned about your premises, then let us give you peace of mind.
Our mobile security patrols are a highly cost-effective choice. By having patrols take place at random times, you have the deterrent of a physical security presence on site, but also minimise the time any would-be criminal has to act.
Another popular service we provide is keyholding and alarm response. If your alarm goes off at any time of the day or night (even on Christmas Day), we will respond - with our average response time for getting on site being just 23 minutes. This also means your staff won’t have responsibility for going onto the premises and dealing with what they find.
Avoid any unwanted surprises this Christmas, give us a call on 01264 391 538.
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