In the U.K. crimes committed against business stands at approximately 20% of all crimes that are recorded. In particular, cybercrime stands out as a major growing threat.

Criminals are persistently searching for ever-more ingenious methods to rob hardworking, honest business owners. So how to secure your business premises against intruders?

  1. Undertake a risk assessment

Deterring crime starts out, as it always should, by identifying areas where your business is most vulnerable. Perhaps your business has already experienced criminal activity, though this alone will likely not inform you of the entire story. You need to carry out a thorough crime-risk assessment of your business premises.

  1. Make your premises more secure

If it’s required, strengthen your exterior, and possibly some of your interior doors too. Fit window locks to all exterior windows. Have security lighting installed.

Each of these can have a major deterring effect on criminal activity, given that the majority of burglaries are carried out on an ad-hoc and unplanned basis.

If there are some particularly vulnerable access points, have CCTV installed. But do be mindful of the application of data protection rules.

If your premises does not yet have an alarm system in place, now is the right time to have one installed. Then place warning signs of the alarm’s presence around your establishment.

Should grilles or shutters be installed on exterior windows for extra protection? If so, local council planning permission might be required.

For any internal blind spots, you can easily position security mirrors accordingly.

  1. Protecting yourself as well as your staff

In the event of criminal activity, it’s good policy to ensure that you as well as your staff have undergone security training. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to give up cash or goods rather than being hurt in the process of defending it.

Always maintain only small amounts of cash on site and if you do have tills make sure they are routinely emptied.

  1. Equipment should be secured

Implement frequent equipment and property audits and make individual employees responsible for particular items. Tag all your computers and take note of serial numbers.

More expensive equipment perhaps can be secured to a wall or floor.

Try to provide a secure location for your staff to park their vehicles.

  1. Protect your stock

Any stock discrepancies can be more easily identified if your workplace premises are well organised.

Aim to always be on top of paperwork and for excessive amounts of credits, voids, or damage claims, don’t shy away from asking questions.

Set time aside for frequent stock takes.

  1. Employee theft prevention

Before hiring new staff, make sure you verify prior work history and make a point of checking references – even for part-time and casual employees.

You should have clear policies regarding theft in place and your staff should be fully aware of the consequences. Any instance of theft must be handled with decisive action being taken and prosecution should be fully supported.

Exercise caution when revealing security codes and providing access to keys.

Pay heed to petty cash and till money. Both are particularly susceptible to employee theft.

  1. Block theft of information

As a way of protecting sensitive information, inclusive of employee details and clients’ financial records, implement computer access controls to restrict entry.

Regularly change passwords and make a review of the staff with access privileges.

IT systems should be provided with adequate protection from threats of external nature. Install anti-virus software and firewalls.

  1. Paper waste of a sensitive nature should be shredded

Any paper waste that consists of sensitive information should not merely be dispatched to the bin. Doing so makes the information easily available for criminal activity.

For storing personal and confidential information, install filing cabinets that are lockable.

  1. Get advice

Get advice from the crime prevention officer who works at your local police station or with your local council and learn how you can secure your business premises.

Cybercrime is on the rise and continues to impact many businesses. Consult with your IT provider and get them to tighten up on any potential security hacks.

  1. Implement regular security measure checks

For criminals to remain ‘in business’ they understand that they must engage in different or more sophisticated techniques to remain at the forefront. Be sure to keep your own security measures at the forefront, too.

Remain open to what your staff have to say about how to secure your business premises against intruders.