The UK Government has recently released the first update on crimes against businesses statistics since the pandemic started in 2020. Despite many businesses facing closure or reduced hours during the original lockdowns, the reported crime statistics are staggering.
The latest statistics reflect on events between April 2020 and March 2021 against businesses based in England and Wales.
- Over 150,0000 (38%) of business premises in the Wholesale and Retail sectors were victims of a crime. The most common crimes reported were theft (27%), assault (12%) and burglary (10%).
- There were over 1.1 million incidents of customer theft reported in 2021 by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
- 28% of businesses reported being targeted by customer theft at least once a week.
- Two out of every ten retail stores reported customer theft was a daily occurrence.
- 46% of businesses reported that levels of violence and assaults they had experienced had increased during the pandemic.
- 68% of respondents reported financial losses resulting from crime against their business.
- 60% reported being impacted by a loss of goods and services due to crimes against their business.
- Businesses with more than 50 employees experienced higher rates of deliberate damage, such as graffiti or arson, than those with less than nine employees.
- 92% of businesses that experienced vandalism and property damage were located in urban areas.
- Six in ten (61%) employees reported having experienced verbal abuse, 22% had been threatened, and 13% were physically assaulted without injury.
How Can Commercial Security Systems Reduce Crimes Against Businesses?
Only 14% of businesses reported installing alarms or monitoring equipment despite the above. In comparison, 68% of respondents reported asking employees to actively engage in new prevention procedures as part of their current role.
The good news is that commercial security systems can be highly effective in preventing crime and reducing the pressure on staff:
- Access control systems are a great way to ensure that only those that should have access to an area can enter. These systems can restrict access to whole buildings or isolated rooms such as staff areas or secure stores.
- Intruder alarms can automatically alert business owners of an unwanted visitor out of hours or if they have entered an area unauthorised.
- Panic buttons and alerting systems, which we hope are never needed, can provide employees with security and support in vulnerable situations.
- Fire alarms are a legal requirement for businesses. Still, with so many reports of arson, companies must ensure they are tested regularly and are compliant with the latest legislation to be covered by insurance.
- CCTV & remote monitoring provides you with complete visibility at any time or location and provides downloadable evidence in the event of a crime.
It’s worrying to see that crime against businesses continues to be so prevalent in an age when technology and security are so accessible. Here at JKE Fire & Security, our mission is to make the world safer for everyone, including businesses, employees, and the public.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation chat if you would like to explore how commercial security systems could help prevent crime against your business.