How to improve business security - Part 1: Physical Security
At the end of last year the Home Office published the findings from the Crime against businesses: 2018 Commercial Victimisation Survey. The results showed that once again the Wholesale & Retail sector experienced the highest levels of crime with over 10 million incidents.
Even if your business isn’t in this sector you should be continually looking at your security to make sure your staff, customers, property and data are safe. There are many things businesses can do to improve their physical security, from simple measures such as locks on all doors and windows, alarms and motion sensor lighting, through to employing full time security guards to watch over your property 24 hours a day.
Conducting a security audit should be the first step. Determining the most likely risks to your company will depend on the type of business you operate and the hours it opens. If you have members of staff working shifts at night or on their own, the risks for them will be higher and you should have lone working procedures in place to keep staff safe.
The most common crimes committed against businesses are theft or burglary, vandalism and trespass, and these risks can be mitigated fairly easily.
Controlling access to buildings and premises is essential, fencing, gates and perimeter security measures will keep people out, but it is also important to keep track of visitors, deliveries and staff on the premises. ID cards and visitor record logs will cover this. They will also ensure you know who is in the building in case of a fire alarm, especially for a large company.
Use of CCTV cameras will help to deter any opportunistic thieves and record any incidents that might need to be reported to the police. If your company is closed at night a CCTV feed that is remotely monitored by a security company will ensure any disturbances can be quickly dealt with to prevent any expensive or dangerous outcomes. Signs warning of CCTV cameras are also effective security measures.
When the premises are closed up at night there should be someone responsible for locking up, setting alarms and making sure the buildings are secure. And this also includes making sure staff clear desks, lock away any valuable items (and paperwork) and close blinds. In short, making sure nothing is visible to a would-be burglar.
Reviewing your security requirements on a regular basis is essential. Things are always changing, even if it is just the time of year, clocks going back or forwards and days getting shorter/longer, which will have an impact on your security needs. Having someone within the company responsible for overseeing your security will provide a more consistent approach and help to ensure it runs smoothly.
If you don’t have anyone available to conduct security audits and reviews, a professional security company can provide this service for you, offering advice and suggestions on improvements you can make. It may be that for companies with larger premises and/or lots of expensive equipment on site it would be best to have a security guard patrolling the grounds or mobile patrols taking place throughout the day or night.