The Real Impact of Commercial Burglary

According to the findings from the 2017 Commercial Victimisation Survey, many cases of wholesale, retail and commercial remain unsolved each year. Nearly 45% of all reported business crimes are committed against wholesale or retail premises. For the businesses which fall victim to burglary, some do not have adequate insurance or do not make a claim, while others find it hard to continue operating.

The real impact of crime, burglary in particular, often goes beyond the monetary costs of replacing damaged or stolen stock or assets. It is a crime with far-reaching, and often hidden costs, especially when it happens in the home.

This article discusses some of the hidden costs, the different types of burglary and the precautions you can take to make sure your home or business does not become an easy target.

Different Types of Burglary

The Commercial Victimisation Survey of 2017 also indicated that for wholesaling and retail businesses, burglary affected 12% of all surveyed businesses. This was the second-highest crime category after all kinds of theft, affecting 27% of business premises.

Here are some of the most different types of burglary and the premises most susceptible to each type.

Opportunistic Burglary

This is the most common type of burglary where the burglar has done no prior planning but just comes across an opportunity too good to miss. The most common points of entry are the most obvious, an unsecured door window or skylight.

If an alarm system is fitted, the burglar will make little effort to defeat it or perhaps try not to set it off. This is usually a quick in and out job, with little of value taken other than what is close to hand. For this reason, securing valuables and keeping precious or expensive items out of reach will protect your premises from this type of burglary.

The Smash and Grab

Smash and grab burglaries involve a violent entry into a home or business premises. Burglars committing this type of offence are often well-prepared, using a variety of tools including power tools to cut locks, grilles or chains on gates.

Ram raiding involves the use of a car or other motor vehicle to force access into a shop. These types of burglaries cause a lot of damage and the target is often a shop offering high rewards, such as a jeweller. Speed is often a factor with goods in the window the most common target. Burglars make no effort to defeat alarm systems as they aim to be in and out as quickly as possible.

The damages caused by a ram raid or smash and grab incident may cost in the thousands of pounds to repair and goods lost may amount to even more. In some cases, the safe and its entire contents are carried away.

Sophisticated Burglary

This type of burglary takes careful planning and targets extremely high-value items. The burglars make preparations to overcome building security devices such as alarm systems to ensure they have time to commit the crime. This may include using inside information such as alarm codes, disabling sounding devices and strobes.

A common tactic is to cause numerous nuisance trips until the police do not respond and then make their move. Once inside the building, burglars will have more time to pick through the contents, including safes. In some extreme cases, burglars will use loading bays to load vehicles with stolen goods before escaping with building owners none the wiser. Speak to one of our experts.

The aftermath of a burglary

The effects of a burglary, whether in the home or at commercial premises will be felt long after the alarm stops ringing. There is an immediate impact such as damage to the building and broken doors or windows, as well as longer-term effects.

Immediate aftermath

One of the immediate actions to take after a burglary is to perform a quick review of security measures. This will involve making repairs to any broken down doors or windows or replacing locks depending on the extent of the damage.

This is often after informing the police and reporting the crime and allowing them to carry out an investigation. Depending on the circumstances work operations for the day may be suspended while the police investigate and gather evidence.

Long term aftermath

Some repairs to buildings may take longer, especially in the event of a smash and grab burglary. Replacing stolen stock and assets may be necessary before business can continue, especially for smaller businesses.

Insurance claims often take longer than many business owners would want, with lengthy investigations into the circumstances of the burglary. Business owners may have to use savings to restock, perform repairs and upgrade security before they can expect any insurance pay-out.

How to avoid becoming a burglary victim

What you do on the perimeter of your premises may have a big impact on whether or not burglars target your premises. Obvious precautions such as adequate security lighting, storing bins so that they don’t offer easy access to high windows and ensuring you lock all doors and windows will deter the opportunistic burglar.

Removing high-value items from shop windows, using dummy goods, key security and banking cash are also steps you can take to not only make your premises unattractive but also limit the potential losses.

Physical Measures

Physical security measures will also deter smash and grab or ram-raiding. These measures include the following:

  • Reinforce potential access points by using steel reinforcement and anti-thrust bolts on external doors and bars on windows.
  • Install high-security locks such as a five-lever mortice lock
  • Install internal mesh grilles which are a deterrent but will not protect the shop window.
  • External grilles and shutters that are shut at the end of each day at closing
  • Installing safes for storing valuables
  • Using glass film or laminated glass

Technology solutions

Installing high tech security systems and making the presence of such systems obvious by placing signs and carrying out regular tests is also another way to discourage if not prevent burglary. These systems include:

  • Access control and intruder alarm system with monitoring
  • Video surveillance which can be recording or monitored depending on the size of the property and value of assets within
  • Vehicle control systems

Next steps

Do you believe you are doing everything possible to make your home or business less of a target for burglars? Could you be doing more or would you like to find out more about some of the technologies available to help reduce the risk of a burglary?

Contact Fire and Security have a range of systems devices that will help protect your business. Find out more about these systems and how the team can help design and install the technology to suit your security needs.

Fire & Security solutions for your Home & Business

Iris VBS Fire & Security is a leading provider for commercial and domestic fire and security systems in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, the South East and beyond.

We provide a personal and professional service tailoring every fire and security solution to each individual client’s requirements, from design to installation to ongoing maintenance packages. We partner with industry leading providers to offer our clients a choice of best-fit unbiased solutions, including accredited fire solutions and advanced security solutions.

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