We live in uncertain times. But nothing changes for thieves, vandals and arsonists. The current lockdown means that many commercial buildings will be empty for an extended period of time. Have you done everything you can to ensure that your property is secure enough? A report from the Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub gives some recommendations on how to protect your premises.
What does your insurance say about leaving your building empty?
One of the first things you need to do is check your insurance policy. Are there any requirements to visit your premises if it remains empty for more than a few days? You could invalidate your cover if you don’t get someone to check everything is OK regularly.
What are the risks to your ‘abandoned’ property?
Left empty and unchecked, your business premises could be at risk from:
– illegal occupation
– theft of stock
– criminal damage
Sadly vandals, thieves and arsonists are well aware that many commercial properties are no longer occupied. Police report that they have already seen ‘a big spike’ in businesses being targeted.
Trouble is, lots of people know that these buildings are going to be empty. And not just your regular burglars.
Real life example of an empty shop
Earlier this week, our favourite cafe had this to say on Facebook after the outbuilding where they store their soft drinks was targeted by what looked like two teenage girls.
Our cafe on the beach was broken into in the early hours of this morning (4.32am to be exact)
Although they didn’t get to steal too much as they only gained access to our secured side way by using bolt cutters, they managed to just take drinks.
They didn’t manage to get inside, they managed to get down the secure padlocked gate and stole some crates of drinks. We do have a fully alarmed system for inside.
We have CCTV footage and this has been given to the police. This is just for our community to be extra vigilant.
Unfortunately, these individuals are targeting lots of businesses now that we are all inside.
The closure of the cafe was required by the Council because of the new Coronavirus restrictions. And it was well documented by the cafe on their Facebook Page.
From the camera footage, these two young ladies were not exactly your average burglar. They looked to be wearing their school coats and rucksacks. And you would not have looked twice at them if it had been during daylight hours. Well, except for the boltcutters, obviously 🙁
One wonders where their parents thought they were…
What can you do to reduce that risk? Well here is some great advice from the Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub. It can be applied to all types of premises – manufacturing, warehouse, retail, care homes or office buildings
One of the recommendations was: Check your outbuildings and make sure you lock away anything that could be stolen, used as a climbing aide or be a target for arson.
Here’s an embed with the full text. I’m afraid it does run to three pages of Police speak. But you can take a short cut with our simple quiz by clicking the button below: