Collaborative approaches defend against summer spikes in crime

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Neighbourhood Watch schemes are common place, however, while we are vigilant about looking out for our neighbours’ properties, we are often far less so with regards to business premises and estates. Yet with UK businesses losing billions of pounds every year to crime, it is important that businesses look out for each other and help to reduce this loss.

As the longer days of summer arrive, the potential for crime against the premises becomes even greater, and so we need to be extra vigilant. The majority of burglaries (32%) occur in the evening, with 10% occurring in the morning, and 30% on weekends. Longer daylight hours make it even easier for burglars to scope out premises and gain access undetected.

The lighter summer months are also when we see an increased use of temporary staff to cover employee holidays, with key personnel who are usually tasked with keeping an eye on the business’ own security away for long periods. This can leave aspects of the premises vulnerable, so robust and well organised handover policies and procedures for temporary staff are vital. It is also useful to perform a security audit at this time of year to refresh knowledge, recap on security needs, and reinforce to all employees the sensitive areas that may need to be locked down. The longer, hotter summer months also mean businesses can get caught when employees leave windows open, gifting an opportunity for both opportunist and determined criminals.

However, while the opportunity for crime can increase during summer, with additional disruption caused by staff changes and holidays, along with lapses in a company’s approach to security, these can be balanced by a collaborative approach to security by neighbouring businesses, for example working together to spot and check if windows are closed and to keep an eye on each other’s premises.

Ward Security has introduced an initiative called Park Watch on a number of the business parks where the company has security oficers in place. Park Watch is a forum where tenants can share information about matters of safety and security. Once a tenant signs up to take part in the free scheme, they receive regular reminders and advice from Ward’s on site operational team. By ensuring that businesses on a trading estate are exchanging information about potential security or safety risks, Park Watch helps those businesses function smoothly and securely.

So while we can all still enjoy the longer summer months, by working in collaboration there should be no reason why businesses suffer.

As published in PFM Magazine

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