The UK Home Office claims that crime against business is on the decrease since 2013, but many local residents across the country would say otherwise. You can’t be complacent if you are a business owner. Shocking statistics show that small businesses continue to suffer losses as a result of criminal activities – on average around £3,000 per business, per year. Not all businesses are able to absorb such losses, and in some cases it can result in a business being unable to recover and being forced to close.
There are various impacts associated with crime against business, some of which are:
- Financial loss (direct and indirect through loss of business)
- Costs associated with replacement or repair of damaged equipment and business premises
- Time lost dealing with the aftermath of an incident
- Higher insurance premiums
- Negative effect on employees and the local community
- Easy targets often become repeat victims
According to Oxford security experts, the majority of businesses hit by crime are in the retail, hospitality and agricultural sectors, which represent a lot of small businesses in local communities. The need for taking adequate security precautions cannot be overstated.
So what can you do to prevent crime form impacting your small business?
Here are three easy steps you can take to make your small business more secure:
Secure the premises
Perform a risk assessment of the premises to see where there are potential weak spots where burglars could try to break in. Ensure that all doors and windows can be locked, and that all locks are high-security models and in good condition. Make sure that staff follow a set unlocking and locking up procedure to avoid windows or doors being left open accidentally. Better still; fit an alarm system which will automatically test for entry points being open as it is set each night after the business closes.
There are various manners in which security guards can be deployed. In high-value retail establishments it might be worth having a security guard on the premises during opening hours as a deterrent to opportunistic thieves and shoplifters. Alternatively, security patrols during the night can ensure that your business premises are regularly checked on and this visible presence also acts as a strong deterrent against thieves looking for an easy break-in target.
This is probably considered as one of the smartest investments you could make in terms of security measures for your business. Not only does a CCTV system act as a deterrent, it can also help monitor unusual or suspicious activity prior to an attempted break-in or robbery, which can be invaluable in thwarting the attempt. CCTV footage also helps prosecute criminals who target your business as it is admissible evidence in court.
Whichever security measure you decide to adopt – be assured that it is money well spent when compared to dealing with the aftermath of a burglary or other criminal incident related to your business.