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Boost to tackle business crime

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s approach to tackling business crime across the county has seen a boost with the launch of their new business security survey which business managers and owners can use to evaluate how vulnerable they are to being targeted by burglars.

Most burglars are ‘opportunists’ and break into easy target business premises, but good security and basic precautions significantly reduce the chance of a business being burgled. The quick and simple survey has been designed to encourage businesses to consider the nine most common security considerations used by criminals outside and inside buildings, along with their staff’s knowledge and understanding.

South Cambridgeshire Business Watch Co-ordinator, PCSO Carly Freed said “As many of the businesses I have dealt with have found, the consequences of being targeted by criminals can be much more costly than the obvious damage and goods lost. The costs can extend way beyond the financial loss to demotivated staff, wasted time and often disrupted or lost business and consequently damaged reputation.

“Improving your businesses’ security to a standard that discourages burglars doesn’t have to cost a fortune. As a minimum we recommend making sure your external security is of a high standard as it is your first line of defence against protecting your business from burglars.”

One such business owner who has reaped the benefits of investing in security is James Peck, Managing Director of PX Farms in Dry Drayton. Prior to the additional security improvements PX Farms was typically experiencing 1-2 incidents per week with almost £60,000 of goods stolen over a 12 month period. The majority of incidents were theft of fuel from the agricultural machinery and vehicles, theft of gas cylinders and vehicles, and criminal damage to fencing, many of which couldn’t be claimed for by against their insurance.

Following a security survey from one of Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Officers James invested in improving the farm’s security with the installation of additional security measures including:
• Increased CCTV coverage
• Fuel monitoring system
• Restricted access to key areas using a swipe card only access
• Physical barriers such as larger ditches; and
• Improved staff training

Since PX Farms implemented the recommendations and improved their security the number and severity of crimes have significantly reduced to low level crimes such as criminal damage.

This shows how reviewing your businesses’ security and identifying vulnerable points including access control, monitoring equipment (such as lights, CCTV and alarms), physical barriers (such as locks, security gates) and staff training can deter criminals from targeting your business.

You can access the business security survey here, and for further business security advice and the full PX Farms case study visit the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website http://www.cambs.police.uk/GetCloser/BusinessCrime/.

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