A recent FSB report into crime makes for shocking reading. Traditional crime – such as burglary and criminal damage – has on average affected businesses by more than £14,000 each over the last two years. There are up to 3.8 million incidents of business crime each year and around 50% of small businesses have been the victim of at least one crime in the past two years. Only 46% of businesses have invested in physical security measures such as locks, alarms and CCTV. That leaves a staggering 2.98 million businesses with nothing in place.
If you are one of the 5.8 million people who run a small business in the UK, was security a priority for you when you started your business? Maybe you have been running your business for a few years but haven’t thought about security. Read on to find out why getting the right security is key this year.
Crime statistics are shocking
A recent FSB report into crime makes for shocking reading. Traditional crime – such as burglary and criminal damage – has on average affected businesses by more than £14,000 each over the last two years. There are up to 3.8 million incidents of business crime each year and around 50% of small businesses have been the victim of at least one crime in the past two years. Many small businesses lack confidence in the Police, which means that crime goes under-reported. Key findings of the report include:
- 49% of smaller businesses in England and Wales – about 2.54 million firms – have experienced at least one business crime in the previous two years
- 34% of smaller businesses in England and Wales – about 1.79 million firms – have experienced at least one ‘traditional’ business crime in the previous two years
- 20% of smaller businesses in England and Wales – about 1.06 million firms – have experienced at least one cybercrime in the previous two years
- Only 5% of smaller businesses have experienced instances of both traditional crime and cybercrime in the previous two years
In all sectors bar two, the proportion of small businesses impacted by traditional crime was higher than cybercrime. It’s probably no surprise to read that that Wholesale and Retail sector is impacted most by traditional crime:
- The average cost per affected business was £14,360 over two years
- The average cost per crime is £3,340
- The per annum aggregate direct cost of traditional crime in England and Wales is £12.9 billion
Only 46% of businesses have invested in physical security measures such as locks, alarms and CCTV. That leaves a staggering 2.98 million businesses with nothing in place.
A key consideration if you are going to invest in a security system, is how easy it will be for everyone in your employment to use. Do you tend to receive deliveries out of hours? Do you have a lot of staff members working different shift patterns? Do members of staff struggle to arm and disarm the security system because they keep forgetting the code? Do keys get lost or pin codes given out to people who shouldn’t really have them?
Interactive alarm systems allow businesses to remotely or arm/disarm the system, as well receive notifications either to a monitoring centre or to a smartphone – so no matter where users are, they are informed of any potential events and can act immediately.
Another system which can give you control within your business is biometric access control. Using fingerprint readers positioned at entrances and exits, you can take complete control over who comes in and goes out. Unlike keys, fobs or pin codes, fingerprints cannot be lost, stolen or lent to unauthorised people. Biometric access control gives peace of mind and is very easy to use. The impact on your business is simple – if the person trying to gain access isn’t registered, they can’t get in!
Make your business unattractive to intruders
Many burglaries are opportunistic crimes. Visible deterrents, such as alarm bell boxes and obvious CCTV signs, signal to intruders that your premises will not be an easy target. For complete piece of mind, CCTV is a great solution as it gives eyes on your business 24 hours a day. It can help combat burglary, robbery, fraud and shoplifting. CCTV systems allow 24s-hour remote viewing access and out-of-hours alerts if sensors are triggered.
Strengthen the first line of defence
Detecting intruders early gives you the best chance of stopping them. Alarm systems that use door or window contacts and motion sensors are key. Contacts detect when a protected door or window is opened. PIR sensors detect movement inside the premises when there is a disruption of the infrared beam. When these devices detect unauthorised activity, the security system will trigger certain actions. Depending on your system and this can be a loud on-premise siren, a text alert to your mobile phone, or a call from a professional monitoring centre. External motion sensors, such as perimeter sensors and paired infrared beams, are particularly useful for giving early warning of an approaching intruder where you have high-value equipment in external storage areas.
Seek professional advice
There are lots of cheap security systems on the market these days, and while they might seem like an easy option, they are often of very poor build quality and plagued with faults. Our advice to any business wanting to invest in better security is always to seek professional advice in the form of a security audit from an accredited supplier. What an audit can do is highlight potential areas where there are vulnerabilities and help to create a tailormade security plan which fits your business.
Security systems need to be fit for purpose and have the ability to grow if your business grows – off-the-shelf systems rarely fulfil these criteria. It is always worth making sure that the security company you choose is registered with the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) or NACOSS. Certification is a mark of excellence.
When you grow
As your business grows, your security requirements will change. If your business has been around for 3 years plus, when did you last review your security requirements? As your usage changes, so do your requirements for surveillance and access control. Working with a company that can help you to adapt so that your site always remain secure is important. You may decide to install more CCTV cameras or add additional controls on access points. Maybe you expand the number of sites you have or even move to bigger premises. A regular security audit means you are protected, even if it’s just to reassure you that you’ve got it covered.
Almas is proud to be SSAIB registered for installation of Biometric systems and CCTV. We offer free security audits with no obligation. All our customers can benefit from this service no matter how long they have been with us. Our ongoing support and maintenance are UK based and we work hard to ensure that if there is ever an issue, we solve it quickly.
Beat the January blues – free installation on any new security system when committed to before the 31st January. Quote SecJan15 when you get in touch.