In 2018/2019, there were 606,282 crimes against businesses in England and Wales. Down on the previous year. But that’s still an average of 69.2 crimes every hour. Or more than one every minute! WOW… those are some sobering statistics.
This post looks at what businesses can do to lower the impact those statistics describe… And why relying on the Police is probably not the best option.
First, the most common crime!
The most common business crime in the UK
374,395 incidents of Shoplifting made it the #1 crime. More than half the ‘business crimes’ reported by The National business Crime Centre.
And a further 83,032 cases saw thieves legging it without paying. Not sure how that differs from shoplifting but…
Depressing but easy to sort out…
With the manpower and the right technology, you can give the Police a criminal and the proof for a conviction. Using your Bounce Back Loan from the Government to invest in your security is a wise move. Make your store the place that everyone wants to shop and no one wants to thieve from.
Here’s what to do…
CCTV installation – 25% drop in shoplifting
Modern CCTV camera software can match a face to known criminals. And warn you that a repeat offender is entering your store! Then watch this person to check they don’t nick your stock. One convenience retailer reported a 25% drop in shoplifting!
But don’t buy cheap or out of date equipment. Talk to an expert about HD cameras and high quality DVRs with enough memory to record the footage.
Using your Bounce Back Loan from the Government to invest in your security is a wise move. Make your store the place that everyone wants to shop but no one wants to thieve from!
Security guarding – worked brilliantly
A two-pronged approach can make a real difference. One guard in the back looking at the cameras for strange behaviour. And one at the door waiting to stop any thieves from leaving.
“The results were staggering – I think we got 39 in the first week and 103 over six weeks. Once we said enough’s enough staff morale improved massively and so did staff retention. The thieves realised we won’t stand for this. It worked brilliantly all round.
Burglaries and robberies
More sobering stats… There were 109,391 burglaries against commercial properties and 16,886 attempted burglaries reported. Plus 437 involved the thief carrying a weapon (aggravated burglaries).
Also 8,256 robberies – taking property from a person or place by force or threat of force.
And 9,835 thefts by employees.
A further 4,050 cases were thefts from an automatic machine or meter.
Again technology and manpower is the answer…
Alarms and CCTV
You will have an alarm as an insurance requirement. When was it fitted?
Modern alarms can be monitored for you. AND you can operate yours from an app, in case you leave without setting it. Even better you can integrate alarm and CCTV for a stronger deterrent.
If you rely on a bells only alarm… It’s time to think again. Many insurance companies insist on a higher level of security. Criminals do not want to be recognised and so hate CCTV. It’s a brilliant way to protect lone workers too. Make sure you put signs up and your cameras are easily seen.
State-of-the-art software can control who comes in and who goes out of which parts of your premises – staff, visitors and contractors. Keeping visitors away from valuable items is an obvious way to reduce crime. And it works.
Access control also has the bonus of allowing you to monitor time and attendance.
Great security can be made even better. How? Teach your staff basic techniques to protect their work equipment and personal belongings. There is nothing worse than finding your credit cards have been nicked. Well, actually there is. Finding out that one of your polite co-workers held the security door open to allow a stranger into the building.
Security guarding – an economical deterrent
A cost-effective alternative to permanent guards is mobile patrols. Security vehicles cover multiple locations during a shift drastically reducing the price. While rotating the time patrols occur keeps thieves guessing.
You choose the level of service you need. Patrols can come weekly, daily or hourly depending on your business.
And, you decide on the tasks your officer performs. Perimeter inspection and inside checks to locate signs of attempted entry and ensure everything is locked and secure. reassuring for lone workers AND a visible deterrent to crooks. It’s flexible protection to suit all budgets.
Relying on the Police
I’m not suggesting the Police are incompetent… but with falling Police numbers crimes need to be prioritised. And less resources are allocated to the crimes mentioned above, it seems. Because 58% of cases were closed without identifying any suspect!
So while the Home Office’s Crime Against Businesses 2018 Commercial Victimisation Survey revealed that 42% of businesses reported a theft to the Police in 2018 this isn’t the full picture. The FSB data shows 21% of small businesses don’t bother to report crime! Why?
Retailers don’t always report crime because:
- Lack of response from the Police
- Lack of outcome/resolution
- It takes too much time
- It was below the Police threshold to take action
Alarmingly, the ACS Crime Report for 2020 backs up these findings. The report says that 95% of retailers are dissatisfied with Police investigation of in-store incidents. 95%!
What will you do to combat crime against your business?
There are three choices. Which will you take?