It’s a common question. And for good reason.
The cost of UK retail crime has soared to a record high of £613 million this year. For small businesses, the effects of crime can be particularly devastating. In 2016, the Federation of Small Businesses calculated that the average cost of business crime was £6000.
But there’s a lot that small businesses can do to fight back. Our guide will outline the best practice techniques you can use to prevent:
But, before we get into the details of how to protect business from these threats, let’s look at how to create a solid security foundation.
A good security foundation covers your weak spots. Every organisation has weaknesses. To find yours, you need to assess each element of your business individually. This is best done with a professional risk assessment. Your elements are your:
Data (physical and digital)
Your staff can be your greatest asset when it comes to keeping your business protected. But only if they know what they’re doing and their role in your security plan. Training is therefore essential. Every member of your team should know:
That it’s better to give up cash or goods rather than get hurt trying to protect it
How to recognise suspicious behaviour and where to report it
To keep as little cash on site as possible and to routinely empty tills
How to open and close the business securely
How to report a crime
Make sure that you are aware of all possible access points. This includes small windows, hollow roof space and backdoors.
If necessary, strengthen doors, fit window locks and install security lighting.
Make sure that you have an alarm and that you put up signs that warn of its presence.
Consider installing strategically placed CCTV cameras and don’t be shy about telling people you have them.
Physical data theft – the theft of computers, laptops, electronic media, portable electronic devices and paper files – is one of the most common and costly business crimes. This means that you need to have policies in place that protect your data. Ensure the security of electronic and physical restricted data by:
Locking down workstations and laptops
Securing files and equipment when unattended
Concealing sensitive papers, computers and other electronic devices when left in an empty office
Encrypting all data
Shredding paper records when they’re no longer needed
Locking laptops in or to something permanent when unattended
Deleting all personal identity information when it’s no longer needed and report any suspected data breaches to the ICO.
To secure equipment:
Carry out regular property and equipment audits and allocate responsibility for particular items to individual employees.
Tag your computers and record all serial numbers.
Provide a safe area for cars and bikes.
Bolt expensive items to floors and walls.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to invest in equipment insurance.
Most crimes against businesses are crimes of opportunity. By ensuring that you have a solid security foundation in place you reduce opportunities and deter criminals.
Typically, only three percent of property is recovered after a burglary. And only one in 10 crimes result in a charge being upheld. This makes preventing burglary much more viable than pursuing charges. Here’s what you need to do to keep burglars at bay.
Robberies are one of the most dangerous crimes to affect businesses. With a threat to employee life and wellbeing, it’s imperative that you do all you can to prevent a robbery taking place.
According to Financial Fraud Action UK, financial fraud losses reached £755 million in 2015. The main drivers of this type of crime are impersonation and deception scams, online attacks and data breaches. Follow these steps to make sure you prevent credit card fraud.
Shoplifters cost UK retailers around £335 million every year. Shoplifting can be a real threat if you own a store. To avoid losses, make sure that you deter shoplifters with the following steps.
In legal terms, vandalism is a form of criminal damage since it involves the damage or defacement of private or public property without permission. It’s a serious crime, and it’s one that costs business owners a lot of money. In the UK, the rate of criminal damage is decreasing. Still, with 1.3 million incidents of criminal damage to personal and household property in the year ending March 2015, you need to do what you can to prevent vandalism.
In England and Wales, 10,717 counts of theft by an employee were recorded in 2015/16. Such crimes decreased steadily after a peak in 2003/04. Now, however, employee theft is on the rise again. To prevent employee theft, you should.
Churchill Security is a nationwide security company and a trusted provider of bespoke retail and business security solutions. If you’d like to find out how we can help you secure your business, get in touch.