How to protect your business from theft

While cyber crime is establishing itself as a leading business threat, it’s also important that you don’t forget the risks posed to your company by traditional physical theft. With businesses four times as likely to be burgled as homes, it’s crucial you do all you can to protect your premises, your stock and your staff.

Impact of business crime
Theft and vandalism can cause a significant knock-on impact on your business. Negative impacts of business crime includes:

Financial losses
The cost of replacing damaged equipment and premises
Lost customers
Damaged reputation
Higher insurance premiums
The risk of it happening again

Business crime in the UK
The most prone industries for business crime include wholesale and retail, construction, IT and forestry and fishing. Let’s take wholesale and retail and construction and look at what’s happening in each sector.

Wholesale and retail
In 2015 in this sector:
There was the highest crime rate of any industry
22 per cent of premises were shoplifted, with £50 or less lost in most incidents
Larger premises with 50+ employees saw the highest crime rates

Construction
In 2015 in this sector:
There were 910 incidences of business crime per 1,000 premises
21 per cent of premises were hit by crime
Assaults and threats were the most frequent crimes

Keeping protected
With business crime a real, significant threat, here are seven ways you can stay protected.

Start by carrying out a risk assessment
Do you know where you are the most vulnerable? Do a risk assessment - this will help you identify your weak spots.

Invest in security and surveillance
If you keep valuable stock on your premises or your office is large and sprawling, definitely consider investing in a security and surveillance system, such as CCTV and motion-activated floodlights. They’ll act as a deterrent in themselves, and provide evidence in court should someone try and burgle you.

Take out insurance cover
Taking out business insurance will help cover you in the event of damage to your premises or theft of equipment. We specialise in a variety of business insurance products, including shop insurance, office insurance and pub and bar insurance.

Develop a security procedure
Who has responsibility for opening and closing up? What’s the process for letting visitors into your building? If you don’t know, it’s time to develop a security policy to establish some of these basics.

Secure your equipment
If you have a lot of equipment on your premises, do everything you can to ensure they’re not at risk of theft. You could, for example, physically secure expensive equipment to the floors to make it hard to steal. In the event you do suffer a break-in, make sure you have made a separate note of your equipment’s serial numbers - the police might be able to trace it.

Work with other businesses
If you’re on a high street, business park or somewhere else that’s in close proximity to other businesses, connect with them. You can work together to share information, looking out for each other in the process.