Safeguarding your business from potential threats is essential, whether by installing access control systems or using CCTV. In addition to demonstrating compliance through duty of care and GDPR and taking necessary steps to protect your brand’s reputation, you should make security a top priority at your business. Ensure you have the following in place around your premises as a minimum:
CCTV has proven to work and have an impact on crime, in Newcastle and King’s Lynn, there was a reduction of crime in areas that had security technology in place. 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 CCTV so off-putting for criminals? 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.
Putting CCTV at entry points of your building is beneficial to record people walking in and out. 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.
Reducing crime through environmental design
Using environmental design for your premises can help reduce crime by manipulating the physical environment around the area.
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.
It has been reported that with the use of both single and multiple components, commercial robberies reduced in retail businesses.
Benefiting from neighbourhood watchers
Common around homes, neighbourhood watch schemes have made a great impact – but they are beneficial to businesses too! 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.
By getting the local communities involved, neighbourhood watch schemes help promote safety and assist any ongoing investigations. 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 by arranging regular social gatherings and events.
- Facilitate detection of crime with an increased flow of intelligence between workers and the police.
The power of street lamps
If your building is in quite a dark area, it is advised 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.
There are benefits to having a great deal of street lighting around your building, a report from the College of Policing’s Crime Reduction suggested. 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.