Is your business a soft target?
Most burglaries, even against shops and businesses, are crimes of opportunity. A burglar spots a weakness in your defenses and uses it to break in.
While the Australian Institute of Criminology says threat crimes like robbery result in a higher incidence of psychological problems for staff, burglary also traumatises staff and remains the most common and most expensive crime against small and medium-sized businesses in Australia.
Brisbane alone experiences more than 10,000 burglary-related crimes a year, many of them shops and businesses. More than half of all small businesses in Australia are burgled at some time.
What’s worse is that the burglars often return a month or two later, just when you’ve replaced stock and equipment!
So just how do you guard against your business being burgled?
Here are some suggestions:
- Do a risk assessment – and make a checklist of where you see opportunities for somebody to commit a crime.
- Check the surroundings – and deal with overgrown bushes, untrimmed hedges and other hiding places. Immediately dealing with graffiti also helps.
- Install Crimsafe Commercial range of products, designed with five times the number of tamper – proof resistant screws than products for domestic use. Commercial premises need heavier protection than domestic residences. The fact that there can be very high value items inside and not many people around to hear the noise can encourage a burglar to spend more time and bring extra-heavy equipment to do the job.
- Match these external security measures with internal measures – put cash and other extremely valuable merchandise in a bolted-down safe or a strongroom.
- Install security lights, an intruder alarm and CCTV – the alarm should be of the type monitored by a security company with proper alarm response procedures. Put a sign in the window warning that the shop or business is alarmed and under CCTV surveillance.
- Collaborate with other businesses in the area, sharing your security concerns as well as the cost of CCTV or other systems.
- If you can afford it or have particularly valuable stock at any given time, hire security staff that stay on site or do mobile patrols.
- If you have a large area that’s difficult to secure, guard dogs are a good option.
- Change security codes regularly – especially when an employee leaves the business.
- Do not leave ladders or other equipment that could be used in a break-in anywhere near the business.
- Keep the lights on inside and out – burglars prefer to work in the shadows.
- Permanently mark your assets (computers etc) and keep lists of them and their serial numbers – lists help with insurance claims and permanently identified items are less appealing to thieves.