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Your quarterly quota of expert insight and fresh thinking.. The business magazine for Suffolk and Cambridgeshire...

27th November 2015

{ Are you an unwitting accessory to burglary? }

‘Burglary at Christmas is something that happens to other people until it happens to you.’ says Tom Fletcher, 30, Director of Jackson Fire & Security Systems, Cambridge.

Tom, an ex-Royal Air Force officer should know. He worked for 7 years dealing with organized crime and other threats. ‘We are all afraid of being hacked and people’s attention is being drawn to online security. Being hacked is just like being burgled. However, we shouldn’t take our eye off the ball in the real world. With the annual Christmas shutdown approaching business owners should all be extra vigilant. This can be difficult when companies are trying to fulfil orders before the holiday and even celebrating and being less careful’

What concerns Tom most is the casual attitude some businesses show when it comes to giving an opportune burglar the means with which to enter a premises. ‘Just adding security lights and tidying up after you can cut risk’ he says. ‘After all with the long nights and our desire to rush home the number of opportunities to commit crime increases dramatically.’

Jackson Fire and Security have seen people closing the door after the horse has bolted too many times. They have put together a 14 point action plan to help commercial sites secure themselves over the Christmas period and beyond.

The basic tips are called effective target hardening. This basically means increasing the time it takes to commit an offence. It gives pause for thought and may certainly deter opportunist criminals.

Don’t be an accessory to crime! 

14 ways to protect your commercial premises.

1. Review and test your security lighting. You may think it’s working but have you checked lately when it gets dark?

2. View your workplace as a potential criminal. Make a note of any vulnerable areas. Don’t leave it to chance.

3. Make potential targets in your workplace more difficult to remove or damage.

4. Upgrade locks on doors, windows and shutter.

5. Check the strength of doors, especially if they have been in use for years.

6. Ensure you have the appropriate burglar alarm cover that is serviced, tested and working!

7. Install fencing systems, gates and perimeter protection. This is your first line of defence.

8. Repair damaged or derelict property and secure outbuildings.

9. Keep valuable objects out of site. Leaving equipment on view through windows can prove very tempting.

10. Get into the habit of locking equipment away at the end of the working day, every day.

11. Remembering to close blinds, shutters etc will also make your premises look less attractive in the first instance.

12. Don’t leave anything handy that will assist a criminal to smash a door or window. Even industrial wheelie bins can be used as a platform to access a roof or windows. Lose bricks and large stones can smash open windows. Ladders and scaffolding are useful too. Lock it up or store it securely elsewhere.

13. In the busy run up to Christmas some criminals access buildings when they are busy. If they look confident they are rarely questioned. So check your access control.

14. A CCTV system will put off most opportunists. You can certainly start to see just what activity occurs when you are not on the premises and this may well alert you to potential difficulties.

By taking the time to identify and address any vulnerable areas in your workplace’s security systems and processes, you’ll increase the chances of remaining crime-free over the Christmas shutdown and beyond.

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