When you think of businesses targeted by criminals, you might not consider your small or medium-sized enterprise at risk. Smaller businesses usually mean lower profits and fewer staff members.

The National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses Limited (FSB) Crime Survey found that in 2016, the average costs of offline-crime per business affected stood at nearly £6000 a year.

Nearly 50% of all small businesses surveyed had been a victim of non-cyber crime, some of which had devastating consequences both financially and in terms of employee morale.

Security systems specialists Expert Security UK take a look at what you need to know about crime, how your small business might be targeted, and the products that can help you stay protected.

How does crime affect small businesses in the UK? 

According to the Crime Against Business Report produced by the Government in May 2017, the most commonly targeted industries included…

  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Accommodation and food
  • Art, entertainment and recreation

However, all premises are at risk of crime if the correct security measures are not in place.

The most common types of crime you can expect to face are:

  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism

According to a report from Lloyd’s Insurance, the growth of homegrown terrorism has the potential to have a significant effect on the business community, both small and large.

Are you at risk?

All high-profile businesses have security systems in place that can deter even the most technologically-minded criminal. These can include high-level cameras, door and window sensors, glass break sensors, motion sensors, garage door overheads and ear-piercing sirens.

It’s unlikely that small businesses will be protected at this level, so many criminals see them as a much easier target. In addition, the way criminals work is continually increasing in sophistication. Their methods are changing, and there are fewer ways to predict who they will target next.

A lack of CCTV, inadequate entry systems and a general absence of protection is a dream come true for any malicious types. The reality is, targeting small companies with no access controls or security procedures is an easy and quick win for any criminal. 

How can you protect your business’ assets? 

The cost of UK retail crime soared to a record £613 million in 2016, and there is no doubt that non-cyber crimes cost all UK industries dearly. However, it’s not just the economic burden of crime that can affect businesses. The social costs of crimes, such as emotional or physical impacts on staff, can be immeasurable.

Risk assessment and prior planning are of paramount importance here! 

Firstly, conduct a risk assessment to identify any security weak spots. This means looking at your premises, security systems, equipment, and data. Once identified, you will know what products and systems you’ll need to update or invest in to ensure full security.

As a general rule for all businesses, investing in secure access control systems will ensure that only staff and visitors can easily access the building. Making sure all doors are equipped with deadbolts or metal-lined with secure metal crossbars, is vital both inside and outside.

CCTV can deter potential thieves, as well as helping the police forces in their investigation if something does go wrong.

Depending on your type of business and the results of your risk assessment, you may also need to consider applying parking systems or possibly security kiosks on your premises.

Prevention is the most important thing when it comes to security. No matter how small your business is, without the correct systems, you have a target on your back.

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