With the news that 2 in every 5 businesses were the victims of crime last year, One Stop Fencing take a look at what you can do to keep yours safe.
The summer holidays are fast approaching and with that comes long weekends and Bank Holidays where many offices across the country will be empty and unattended for long periods of time. This provides potential criminals with a window of opportunity to steal your equipment or cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
An ONS report published last month saw 56% of crime committed being theft related last year, according to statistics from the CSEW. While this is a 7% decrease from last year, it is primarily the result of domestic crime rates falling. As homeowners become more aware of how they secure their dwelling, shouldn’t businesses be doing the same?
The Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) has shown that 4,783,000 businesses were the victim of crime in 2014 – that’s two in every 5 businesses in the UK. Furthermore, the ONS report also admits that there is still a significant gap in statistics relating to commercial crime and so the rate of crimes against businesses are likely to be even higher.
Keeping your business safe should be a top priority for any employer, so with that in mind, here are our top five tips for securing your business over the summer holidays:
1) Move the Expensive Equipment
Laptops and other expensive equipment left on desks can be all the motivation someone needs to break into your office, so get your employees to shut their laptops away in their desks after work, and move other enticing equipment as far away from the windows as possible. This is especially important if you’re on the ground floor so you should also consider using blinds or curtains to deter thieves from peeking through. It seems simple, but most crime is committed by opportunists, rather than being a pre-planned attack, so don’t provide the temptation!
2) Add More Security Cameras
Think about the security measures you already have in place and whether or not they could be improved. CCTV cameras and alarms will intimidate potential intruders, so they should be used to their full advantage. If you have particularly important and expensive equipment on site, another option is to enlist security personnel to monitor the premises while people are away, especially at night as this is when the majority of crime occurs.
3) Build Strong Fences
Get back to basics and think about the surroundings of your office; do you have protective fences and gates that can be locked when no one is in the building? If your office will be empty over the summer holidays this year, then outside security should be high on your list of priorities. Locking doors and windows can only do so much.
According to a report by ONS in 2013, 70.8% of burglars entered their victims building through a locked door.
By adding a secondary layer of security you are providing your business with extra protection, You should be sure to work with a reputable supplier like One Stop Fencing or, if you already have security fencing, it’s worth spending a little bit of your time checking for weak spots, as this could mean the difference between safety and a break in.
4) Train Your Staff
It’s everyone’s job to help with security, so remember to get all your colleagues and employees involved with keeping the office safe. Implementing procedures and pinning up checklists on how to lock doors and gates properly are just a few simple suggestions that can make a world of difference. Not only will this ensure the office is safe at the end of the night, but it will also encourage people to lock up after themselves if they come into an empty office to do some work over the summer period. You should also make sure you know exactly which members of staff are in possession of a key to your premises as 69,000 incidents of theft in 2014 were crimes committed by employees of the business affected.
5) Enhance Your Cyber-Security
Just because your computers are switched off doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk of a cyber-attack. You wouldn’t leave the door to your house wide open for anyone to walk in, so why do the same to your online systems? The 2014 CVS estimated that there were 136,000 incidents of online crime in the wholesale and retail sector alone. As a great deal of sensitive information may be stored on computers or online accounts, it is essential that you use strong passwords. It is also vital to install reputable anti-virus software onto all your systems as over 86% of online crime was the result of a computer virus. Taking simple steps will protect you from nasty surprises in the future. Also make sure that any employees who use their own devices and gadgets as part of their day-to-day role are not taking sensitive data away on holiday with them, as there’s potential for it to be lost or stolen.