Anecdotal evidence suggests there is an increase in commercial property crime as business premises are left empty during the extended UK’s lockdown.
Lockdown has left many empty buildings that are vulnerable to trespass, burglary, illegal occupation and vandalism. Clearly these closures are necessary, but this is the first time for most business owners that premises will have been empty for an extended time.
Police in Manchester, for example, are dealing with the threat of increased burglaries
at office and shops by introducing 24/7 patrols in the City Centre and have advised businesses to remove stock from stores and keep equipment out of the sight of prying eyes.
With Police resources needed elsewhere to help enforce social distancing and other COVID-19 related issues, business owners should be doing all they can themselves to keep their premises safe and secure during lockdown.
Security Managers need to appreciate that the risk profile attached to their buildings will have changed overnight, and they need to pivot their security requirements accordingly.
Taking the following measures will help:
- Review security policies and procedures and make sure staff that are still working understand these. Update emergency call lists and passcodes with the security alarm provider. Consider remote monitoring of your system for added reassurance.
- Test security equipment such as intruder alarms, access control and video surveillance to ensure it is working correctly. Ensure systems are updated with the latest firmware and patches.
- Determine any additional protection required for skeleton staff still working from offices and who will now be more vulnerable. Ensure they have access to all of the parts of the building that they now need and update access control protocols accordingly.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked. Consider lowering blinds or covering windows so thieves cannot easily see inside. Put procedures in place to handle deliveries that cannot be canceled or diverted.
- Finally, consider adding resilience to your existing intruder alarm and access control system with visual verification. This provides confirmation of access and egress to a building, as well as verification of alarm triggers, by video surveillance. Helping to avoid false alarms and provide greater peace of mind - especially when managing disparate and remote estates.