Commercial burglary can cripple a company to the point of collapse. The following advice will help any business, large or small, to protect itself from crime.
Accessing your premises
- Only give master keys to trusted members of staff. Check regularly that no keys have been lost – if they are, immediately change the locks
- Appoint trusted, nominated key holders or a security company to attend out of hours if there is an emergency
- Never leave keys lying around
- For high security areas, use push button combination locks and change the codes regularly. Make sure staff are careful not to let passers by see the code as they enter it.
To ensure your CCTV is fully effective:
- Clean the lens regularly
- Store the equipment in a locked cabinet
- Save a recorded tape or digital image for 31 days before recording over it
- Ensure that time and date settings are correct
- Face a camera towards the doorway so you get clear head and shoulders images
- To be legal you must have clear signage stating: the name of the operator, the purpose of the CCTV (i.e. crime prevention), contact phone number. Visit www.ico.gov.uk for more details.
- Monitored alarm systems with police response are strongly recommended. Get quotations from at least three companies who are subject to independent inspection by an approved body. These include: National Security Inspectorate (NSI), Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB)
- To get a police response to your alarm system, you must use a company that is registered with the NSI or SSAIB
- Alarm systems should comply with the latest British and European standards.
- Make sure your security lights are positioned properly
- Check lights regularly to make sure they are working
- Permanent low-cost dusk to dawn lighting is preferable to higher cost lighting linked to a movement sensor
- Make sure lighting does not affect CCTV
- Leave some lights on or use a timer to give the impression that someone is there 24/7
- Keep as little cash as possible on the premises, move excess cash to a safe place and do not count it in view of anyone
- Site tills away from entrance/exit doors
- If possible, avoid paying staff in cash
- Leave tills empty and open at night.
- Where possible keep doors and windows shut and locked
- Lock valuable items such as tools away when not in use
- Avoid predictable routines such as moving cash at the same time each day
- Never leave reception desks unattended
- Search your premises before leaving
- Stock take regularly
- Provide lockers for staff if possible
- Consider installing a UV dye spray system at entry points, use UV grease on valuable outdoor materials, and a permanent property marking system on expensive equipment - along with signage warning of their presence
- Encourage staff to report anything suspicious and make sure they know what to do if there is a robbery
- For more advice contact your local crime reduction advisor by calling 101.