Police issue crime prevention advice to businesses amidst COVID-19 lockdown

Saturday, 4th April 2020

STAFFORDSHIRE Police is reminding local businesses to ensure their premises are safe amidst this current COVID-19 lockdown.

The force has received a rise in the recent number of reports of businesses break-ins and, as a result, are encouraging business owners across the county to take the necessary steps to prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime during this unprecedented time

Opportunist criminals have started targeting local businesses – particularly those left unstaffed, empty and closed following the government announcement to shut all non-essential businesses.

The risk factor to your business is dependent on a number of factors, including area, stock, security and local criminality.

Business Crime Lead for the force, Chief Inspector Giles Parsons said: “We will maintain a visible presence and are committed to prevent any crime. However, we need your help to ensure that buildings are as secure as they can be.

“As a rule, it’s important that you focus on the risks to your premises and regularly review your security. Remember, the restrictions on your movement will be prohibitive so only travel when absolutely necessary – considering the health of yourself and others when doing so.

“We ask that everyone adhere to the government guidelines and social distancing whilst carrying out any essential security checks.”

The following information will help you protect your property:

  • Conduct a detailed security review of all occupied and unoccupied property and land that you have responsibility for.
  • Invest in a recognised security standard gate and locking mechanism, which is securely fixed to the ground and in alignment with the boundary fence. Ensure your boundary is security rated and high enough to deter someone from climbing over it. We recommend a minimum height of 2.1 metres.
  • A strong vehicle height restrictor can stop larger vehicles from entering your site. You can secure your site with heavy-duty concrete blocks or security rated bollards.
  • In line with “government coronavirus policies,” you could employ an SIA licenses security guard at the site – providing a permanent presence. You must always be mindful of the personal safety of your staff when doing this.
  • Ensure your CCTV is an accredited system and correctly installed and positioned so that it covers your premises and any vulnerable areas.
  • Ensure your property has good lighting levels. We recommend constant low-level dusk-till-dawn lighting which can be enhanced by detecting movement.
  • Highly visible warning signs, as well as some forensic marking techniques, can be used to show your property is protected
  • Remove the utility supply to the premises – if they’re not needed then cut the electricity and water supply to the site. Be aware of any impact this could have on CCTV, alarms or fire regulations. Fit a monitored alarm to the building and ensure all windows and doors are properly protects – with either shutters or grilles.

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