The data released by The Home Office for crimes against businesses in 2018 make for interesting reading. The statistics are split across different business areas, including retail and wholesale, accommodation and hospitality, and agriculture, forestry and fishing. As you might expect, each sector experiences different types of crime, but one which affects all businesses is vandalism. 294 crimes of vandalism per 1,000 premises were recorded in the retail and wholesale sector, with 49 per 1,000 premises in the accommodation and food sector, and 27 per 1,000 in the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector has its own problem with trespassing; this crime is often committed in tandem with vandalism, and it is the most prevalent in the sector.
Farmers and landowners can tighten up perimeter fencing and secure gates to some extent, but because of the nature of the business it’s not feasible to completely shut off access and fence the whole premises in. CCTV is becoming more widespread in rural areas, especially where livestock are concerned. Poaching and rustling of game and livestock is always a problem, however, the costs of CCTV make it unsuitable for smaller scale farmers. In areas where this crime is a big problem landowners are starting to make that investment to deter trespassers, vandals and thieves.
In the accommodation and food sector crime has fallen slightly since 2012, with much of this decrease down to increased measures taken by business owners. Assaults and theft were the most common types of crime reported by the sector, with assaults being so high due to the number of assaults carried out by members of the public against other members of the public. Door security and increased police patrols can help reduce this, but we know alcohol fuels violent behaviour; in a way this is part of the landscape for that sector. Theft was the next highest problem, but stock protection was also the largest area in which security measures were increased. CCTV and burglar alarms followed a close third and fourth, making these measures the most common, and also the most useful against the specific types of crimes seen in the sector.
As you might expect, theft (including shoplifting) was the most prevalent crime in the retail and wholesale sector with assaults, attempted robbery and fraud following closely behind. CCTV and in-store security are the most efficient measures for controlling both shoplifting and assaults, and both provide evidence that can be used to secure a conviction. In terms of fraud, access control systems and CCTV can help reduce the exposure of valuable stock to some employees, track their movement around the premises and record any suspicious behaviour.
Whatever sector your business falls under, CCTV and increased physical presence are both excellent ways to manage the more prevalent crimes, while an intruder alarm is a must for retail and wholesale premises which are more vulnerable to overnight crimes. P&R Alarms can supply all your CCTV and intruder alarm needs, and provide consultation on how you can prevent other types of crime your business experiences.