Crime has dropped during the lockdown. Martin Hewitt from the National Police Chiefs’ Council reported a 21% fall in crime This is a great silver lining.
But, while it is welcome, it may conceal a hidden problem. And something else for businesses to think about at this crazy time. As if it weren’t challenging enough…
Crime expert, Professor Nick Tilley of the UCL predicted the issue. He said that “unguarded workplaces might be prone to break-ins”. And this seems to be the case.
Surge in break-ins and attempted thefts
The VPS Group report a surge in business crime. They collated data from police reports, news items and customer feedback. This showed burglars are targeting pubs, offices and construction sites during the lockdown.
David Wormald from VPS said:
“Opportunistic thieves will take their chances, especially with an already stretched Police service.”
He points out that the chances of detecting commercial crime is lower than normal during lockdown. With most of the UK workforce at home there’s fewer people to spot and report break-ins. These could go undetected for days. Your premises would be more vulnerable and the risk of a second break-in high!
He’s not alone in being concerned about empty business premises. Following a break-in at a seafront restaurant in Brighton, Sussex Police:
“advised people to be especially vigilant about keeping businesses secure during the covid-19 outbreak.”
Scallywags changing tack…
Crime changes. And criminals do too! Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole said criminals were evolving to beat the lockdown. He mentioned his officers had made arrests for ‘crimes against business properties’.
And moving forward they intend to “keep an eye on businesses closed for the duration of the lockdown.”
EDIT: The very latest data shows that the fall in crime is even higher at 28%. Supporting David Wormald’s view, domestic burglaries are down 37% but there is no mention of commercial burglary falling!
What businesses can do… How to mitigate the lockdown threat to your empty premises.
In crazy lockdown times, cash flow and lost income are probably top of your mind. But spare a thought for your premises.
The Business Crime Hub at the MET recently released guidance for business owners. They list the main threats to your business premises being:
- your empty premises being burgled
- thefts hitting your bottom line
- sky-high insurance costs rising even more
- repair bills from arson, vandalism and illegal occupation…
No business returning to normal working conditions wants to deal with any of that lot… The Police guidance covers 7 things:
- Reviewing your property portfolio
- Access and boundary treatments
- Design out the space
- Forensic Marking
- Removing utility supply
- Protecting buildings within your site
The first thing and top of the list is review the security of your property.
The Business Premises Security Assessment
At Property Safety we want to help. So we’ve made it easy for you UK businesses to review the security of your empty premises. You can do this anywhere. On your phone, PC or tablet.
We’ve taken the guidance from the MET and made it into an Assessment. You’ll get a score out of 100.
It takes four and a half minutes to take the assessment. You’ll see if there are any gaping holes in your security. If there are gaps, you’ll get advice on what to do about them.
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