WHY ME?
One of the most effective strategies in trying to prevent burglary is to ask yourself the question “Why would a burglar want to break into my premises?”.
Listed below are a few simple tips to deter a burglar from choosing your business

Signs
Some businesses unnecessarily advertise to a thief by placing nameboards and signs outside the premises. Examples include warehouses erecting external signs like “…Computer Chips Ltd” or “…Sportswear Ltd”. If there are no benefits to advertising to the public what is inside your property, then don’t advertise to a burglar!

Questionnaires
Criminal intelligence now indicates that professional criminals may be targeting businesses from trade information publications. Always be aware of disclosing confidential information, especially about computer systems, hardware, software, and details of senior IT personnel. This information would clearly benefit a prospective thief.

Working Late?
Burglars don’t want to be disturbed by workers in the premises. You could trick thieves into thinking you are working late, or that you have staff cover 24 hours a day, by leaving selected lights on around the premises.

These may be controlled by switching devices made primarily for domestic use.

Flat Above?
Many small offices and shops could benefit from making people think that there is an occupied flat incorporated in or above the property.

This tends to be particularly relevant to small shops where they can easily make an upstairs storeroom look like a flat by fitting curtains and timer lights. Even a false door bell push outside labelled “Flat 1” can be a deterrent.

Nothing to Steal
If a thief did not want to steal anything from your property, then the level of security would not need to be as extensive.

You can reduce a thief’s desire to steal property by permanently marking it in an obvious position (see the identifiable property section).

Do not underestimate the importance of keeping valuables out of sight. A computer and printer near a window is nothing more than an advertisement to a thief.

Similarly, cash tills in closed retail premises should be kept open to show that all the money has been removed.

Rubbish
Rubbish can provide a ready source of ammunition for arson attacks.

Even if the fire is not malicious, careless litter and rubbish can easily cause accidental fires.

Your rubbish can also provide a thief with valuable information – not just information which is subject to Data Protection or even confidential lient information, but the waste boxes will inform a burglar that you have new computers and printers.

Carefully consider where all rubbish is stored. If a locked “out-house” type store cannot be arranged, consider a lockable bin or skip.

Alternatively lock and chain waste bins, especially wheeled skips, to a strategically placed post away from the building. If the bins were set on fire, the damage would be minimal.

Graffiti
Neglect is infectious. All Graffiti should be removed as soon as possible, thus eventually deterring vandals.

A variety of surface treatments are available which will make any graffiti easier to remove. It is often cost effective to prepare the more vulnerable areas of walls and fences from any future damage.

This article is from ‘A Guide To Business Security‘ produced by Greater Manchester Police.