Crime costs businesses millions each year and has a huge impact on business profitability, time and employee safety. Business crime can include antisocial behaviours: graffiti and vandalism, violent crime such as assault and robbery or property crime that includes fraud and internal thefts. Protecting your staff, premises and profits can therefore make very good business sense.
Know the risks
Knowing where the security or crime risks are, allows businesses to prioritise, implement and monitor effective crime reduction measures. Begin by taking a walk around your site and identifying where the key risks and opportunities for crime might occur. Record these risks and their potential impact. Also think about internal processes for handling cash, keeping tools and equipment safe, closing doors and windows during the day and after work and external issues such as anti-social behaviour.
Involve your staff
It is important to know that your staff and customers are honest and safe. Ensure that employees are aware of and follow safety procedures, are trained to spot early signs of aggression and suspicious behaviour and are involved in the security improvements you implement.
Protect your premises
It is best practice to not rely on one measure to prevent all crimes. There are a number of ways to secure your premises through ensuring all entrances and exits are securely locked and valuables are locked away. Businesses can invest in a range of security tools such as prickly bushes, good lighting, burglar alarms, CCTV to spot crime and grilles and shutters on doors and windows to act as an additional barrier.
Ensure that your stock, cash and tools are safely secured to prevent them being stolen. Undertake a regular stock-take, keep attractive equipment and tools in secure storerooms and make potential thieves aware of your processes through signs, for example saying 'no money left on premises.'
Prevent fraud crime through ensuring employees are trained in your security systems and disciplinary processes. Conduct spot checks on processes, ensure that duties are divided up between staff to help spot any irregularities and control who has access to equipment.
Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour
Work with other businesses in your area to share information through emails and phone calls to raise awareness of anti-social or suspicious behaviour in your area. A new Online Business Watch is being piloted in the Dalton Lane area in 2009. Businesses are very simply and effectively sharing information with each other through emails. If you are not already signed up to the Business Watch and would like access to the email group please contact the Airedale Partnership.
Secured by Design
Secured by Design is the UK Police flagship initiative supporting the principles of 'designing out crime' by use of effective crime prevention and security standards for a range of applications. Research shows that Secured by Design can reduce burglary and vehicle crime by 50% and criminal damage by 25%.
If you are looking to implement security improvements it can be useful to contact your local Crime Reduction Officer who will be able to offer you guidance and advice. It is also important to ensure that all new equipment, such as locks, windows and CCTV, meet security standards and use approved companies in your area to install them. The following are security standard guidelines:
- NSI (formally NACOSS) - National Security Inspectorate, Gold / Silver / Bronze.
- SSAIB - Security in Safe hands
- IAI - Independent Alarm Inspectorate
- AISC - Alarms Inspectorate & Security Council
- Integrity 2000
- SIA - Security Industry Association.
National Security Inspectorate to find companies that are approved to install security measures to the highest standards demanded by the police, fire services and insurance industry
SSAIB's to find companies that are certified providers of electronic security systems, fire detection and alarm systems
BSI British Standards is the National Standards Body of the UK . You can use the security standards section of their website to find information about the various standards for security equipment and tools.
Secured by Design - the police flag ship initiative that supports the principles of designing out crime. Find information about secure by design members and products
Reporting Crime - emergencies 999, non-emergencies 0845 6060606, Crimestoppers 0800 555111.
West Yorkshire Police Crime Prevention