Theft continues to be a significant threat to UK businesses.
According to the most recent Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS 2021), theft was the most common form of crime experienced by businesses between April 2020 and March 2021, with 27% of those surveyed being a victim.
And while there was a brief dip in crime during the COVID-19 lockdowns, offences are escalating once more - partly driven by the rising cost of living.
As a result, many businesses are considering their options for tightening security procedures. Here, we will discuss several different types of security technology and outline how they can be implemented to provide enhanced protection against potential thieves.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV is one of the most commonly used forms of security technology, with CCTV sales representing 25% of the global video surveillance market. In fact, it is estimated that there are 5.2 million working CCTV systems in the UK alone, and more than 770 million worldwide.
CCTV is known for its ability to record criminals in the act of stealing from a business. But it is also an effective crime deterrent, and premises that have a CCTV system installed are much less likely to be targeted by criminals.
Installing a CCTV camera on your property may involve an initial outlay, but it has the potential to save your business huge sums of money by reducing the risk of theft, false claims, and health and safety issues.
Staff productivity can even be improved by the presence of CCTV, and personnel may be more likely to comply with company policies and procedures if they know they are being recorded.
When installing a CCTV system, consider:
• What size of CCTV installation will you need (i.e. 4, 6, 8, 16, or 32 etc. recording cameras)?
• What are the best locations on your premises to record activity – e.g. which areas are hardest to see, where are your most valuable materials kept, and where are your points of access?
Intruder alarms are flexible according to your needs and can be set up to alert a staff member, your assigned Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), or the relevant authorities, if an unauthorised person attempts to enter your property. This gives your business a range of options when deciding how to handle security breaches.
For example, you may decide that alerting a member of staff can help to minimise the impact of false alarms by having them verify the security threat first. Alternatively, for a higher level of security, you may choose to have your alarm contact the police immediately.
Intruder alarms also act as an effective deterrent for thieves and burglars, and are a powerful preventative measure to guard against break-ins. And while there are many ‘dummy’ alarms on the market, these are easily recognised by adept criminals, and as such, are limited in the protection that they offer.
Intruder alarms can be wired or wireless according to your requirements.
Wireless alarms are battery operated, meaning they have the benefit of reducing trip hazards and the risk of falls - although the batteries will regularly need replacing. By contrast, wired alarms do not require batteries, but the wires may present a trip hazard and should be placed in low-traffic areas.
Whether wired or wireless, all intruder alarms require regular checks, and the results should be recorded for future reference and security planning.
When installing an intruder alarm, consider:
• Where your points of access and vulnerable areas (e.g. windows) are
• Who you want to be alerted when the alarm goes off
• Where the highest-traffic areas on your premises are
• Whether a wired or wireless system would be more appropriate for your business
Access controls help to reduce theft by preventing unauthorised access to your premises, or to restricted parts of it.
Access control systems can be networked to run 24/7, or according to the specific operating hours of your business. They also allow you to track who is entering your premises, and when – this enables you to more easily identify the people who were in the building when an offence was committed.
Access controls are operated using either a standalone or a networked system. Standalone systems are typically used in lower-security settings, and affect only one point of access.
They are not networked to any other security systems, and as such, will not require external monitoring from a PC.
Standalone systems can be set up to require a key card, proximity reader, or PIN code to access the building, and are a cost-efficient option for low-security settings. However, they do not have the capacity to track users' movements throughout a building, and as such, a networked system is the more appropriate choice for high-security premises.
Networked systems consist of an intricate network of all access points, that are linked together and directed to a central control point such as a PC. Here, an administrator can monitor users’ movements throughout the building and control where and when your staff can enter the building.
This feature is useful for tracking staff movements during emergencies, such as if you need to determine the location of staff members during a fire. In addition, the system can be used as a ‘staff register’ to check that all personnel have left the building.
Networked systems are an effective solution for high-security settings, or for business premises that have a large number of people (i.e. staff, customers, and site visitors) who may need to be monitored.
When installing access controls, consider:
• Where are all your major and minor points of access?
• Which staff may be at risk during emergency situations?
• How will access controls impact on your fire protocols and risk assessments?
• Which areas of your premises are restricted, and who has access to these spaces?
Want to use cutting-edge technology to keep your business safe from crime? Give us a call!