Over the year of the pandemic, there has been an exponential rise in retail and business theft.
The unique mixture of empty units, lack of surveillance and opportunistic criminal behaviour created a recipe for increasing losses and rising crime.
Consider all the assets and materials you might have in your shop, or business premises, at any one time:
- Cash, tills, safes and banking information.
- Stocks, assets, vehicles and computers.
- Legal paperwork, furnishings and digital equipment.
Add to that the fact that your work hours are public information and the proximity of the closest residential areas. You can see why retail businesses must risk-assess their vulnerabilities and implement physical security features to prevent any losses as a result of a breach.
Here we’ll run through seven of the best ways to keep your shop or business premises more secure – now and in the long term!
1. Risk Assess the Site
We can’t stress enough how vital a risk assessment is. That isn’t an admin exercise or a piece of paperwork you complete for the sake of it.
Your risk assessment is a powerful tool in highlighting threats, prioritising how you spend your security budget, and avoiding exposure to unlawful intruders. There are some retail security services available that include a retail risk assessment – see Shopshield for example.
2. Review the Safety of Your Doors and Windows
It’s easy to assume that your keys work fine, nobody will ever leave a set lying around, and that the standard of the locking mechanisms is sufficient.
However, criminals continually innovate, and, likely, commercial locks that have been in use for a few years are frighteningly easy to bypass.
- Go for deadlocks, and upgrade any basic Yale locks that are far from tamper-proof.
- Replace any locks that have had the same key sets between tenants.
- Decide which internal locks are required – particularly in stock rooms or offices where you keep valuables.
- Remember to install locks on windows, as well as doors. A criminal can lift a simple interior window latch with minimal effort.
Commercial lock changes are a simple way to reinforce your office or shop’s safety and one of the fastest options for enhancing your defences.
3. Evaluate Key Management Systems
Now, we’ve talked about locks and doors – but do you want multiple sets of keys floating about?
Access management has come a long way, and there are all sorts of ways to control entry to your business premise without needing to rely on keyholders.
- Business access control systems mean you can define entry permissions across your site. For example, staff with different fobs can gain entry to confidential areas or restricted access zones.
- Key safes are another service available from Clearway and mean fitting a mechanical safe outside your staff entrances, where keys are safely stored. Access requires an electronic code or key fob.
Entry systems are also great for internal security. You know who has been in the building, when, and for how long – so if any losses are found, it’s not hard to pinpoint the problem.
4. Inspect the Perimeter
Another often overlooked element of shop security is the outside.
The best locks in the world can slow down a criminal, but you need a cohesive strategy across the business premise if you want to eliminate any threat of intruders.
Security alarms don’t just cover interior rooms; you can opt for CCTV Towers to cover large outdoor spaces, such as car parks, and remain vigilant for any security breaches, wherever they happen to be. You can see an example of a CCTV Tower here.
5. Invest Time in Staff Training
While many automated security systems work seamlessly with zero intervention, the ideal is to have competent teams well-versed in the security protocols.
Things like keyholder responsibilities, locking up procedures, setting alarms – they all require training.
If you keep your policies consistent and straightforward, you won’t need to retrain staff continually. You can depend on managers to train new employees as part of their induction process.
Depending on the size of your retail unit, your budget and also the value of the store, you could even consider the hire of a security officer, with scheduled patrols acting as a clear visual deterrent to protect your retail unit.
6. Think About Surveillance
CCTV solutions are one the most effective ways to prevent thefts, and there are many ways to leverage this technology.
- Infrared cameras work day or night.
- Body temperature detection cameras are a high-standard H&S safeguard.
- Mobile CCTV patrols are a robust defence.
You can opt for fixed CCTV as a permanent security asset, use a patrol service to scan your site periodically out of hours, or even hire CCTV units during periods of increased risk.
7. Implement Digital Controls
In today’s world, so much of our security is digital, but you also need staff to follow proper cybersecurity procedures.
Physical protections are essential, but it’s also necessary to ensure that team members aren’t using unencrypted messaging systems for business communications and have secure networks if they’re working from home.
Cybercrime is another factor in business security that isn’t going anywhere, so reviewing your digital assets is just as important as ensuring you have commercial-grade locks on the doors.