Safeguarding your business using technology

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Sep 20
2017

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There are many ways that you can safeguard your business in order to reduce the risk of your organisation being subject to vandalism, theft, burglary and other potentially damaging threats.As well as demonstrating compliance through duty of care and GDPR, not to mention taking necessary steps to protect your brand’s reputation, you should be looking to make security a top priority at your business. In regards to security, ensure you have the following in place around your premises as a minimum:

CCTV

You shouldn’t underestimate the effectiveness of having a CCTV system set up around your premises — as this infographic by Ironmongery Direct states, research from the University of Leicester revealed that recorded offences in burglary and vehicle crime areas reduced when such technology was in use around Newcastle and King’s Lynn. The College of Policing’s Crime Reduction Toolkit has also found that for every 100 crimes, an average of 16 crimes managed to be prevented due to the use of CCTV.

Why is this? For one, CCTV systems can be used by police as an electronic witness to assist when proving that someone is guilty or at least provided assistance in crime at a business. Criminals will also be put off committing crime at a building if they believe there is a good chance that they will be watched when doing so.

When setting up CCTV around your business, have at least one camera in place at each entrance point that can record high-quality images of individuals entering the premises so to be most effective. For this, the camera should be able to clearly pick up an individual’s face, unique characteristics of clothing and any items they might be carrying.

Environmental design to prevent robbery

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design — or CPTED for short — looks into a number of measures which can be made to manipulate the physical environment around a business’ premises in order to reduce crime.

Implementation techniques are divided into single and multiple components. For single components, consider looking into cash handling procedures so that significant amounts of money can be safely and securely delivered from one secure location to another, hiring guards when buildings are sitting empty and setting up security hardware systems — CCTV is covered in this again, though this also includes alarms. Multiple components include ensuring good visibility is maintained around a business’ premises, only keeping a minimum amount of money in registers on-site at one time and limiting entry and escape from buildings such as through access control systems.

The College of Policing’s Crime Reduction Toolkit has reported on a series of studies which suggest both procedures have resulted in a fall in commercial robberies taking place at retail settings.

Neighbourhood watch schemes

Neighbourhood watch schemes are not only effective to have around your home; they can also help to prevent crime around your business’ premises. In fact, the College of Policing’s Crime Reduction Toolkit has found in an analysis of 18 studies that an average of 26 crimes out of every 100 is prevented due to Neighbourhood Watch.

These schemes work by aiming to reduce crime by directly getting a community involved in activities that promote safety and assist with those in an area detecting crime. Here are some steps to consider when working on an initiative involving your business and nearby organisations:

  • Encourage workers both at your business and neighbouring companies to look out for and report any suspicious activity around your premises.
  • Enhance community cohesion and increase the effectiveness of informal social control — break down the walls between your employees and colleagues at nearby organisations too by arranging regular social gatherings and events which involves all businesses.
  • Facilitate detection of crime with an increased flow of intelligence between workers and the police.

Street lighting

Does your business sit in an area which sees the buildings shrouded in darkness every night? If so, it is encouraged that you enhance the space with improved street lighting. By increasing visibility around the external areas of your premises, you can prevent crime and make people walking past your workplace easier to identify.

Research carried out by the College of Policing’s Crime Reduction Toolkit has also highlighted the benefits of having street lighting around the outside of your building. In a review of 13 studies, both violent and property crime dropped by an average of 21 per cent in areas with improved street lighting compared to areas without.

Additional sources:

http://whatworks.college.police.uk/toolkit/Pages/Intervention.aspx?InterventionID=1

http://whatworks.college.police.uk/toolkit/Pages/Intervention.aspx?InterventionID=6

http://whatworks.college.police.uk/toolkit/Pages/Intervention.aspx?InterventionID=8

http://whatworks.college.police.uk/toolkit/Pages/Intervention.aspx?InterventionID=3

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