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Is your business at risk from criminal activity during COVID-19? Here’s the Safeguard Systems round-up on the business sectors most affected by crime during COVID-19.

This article also contains security advice for small businesses that have had to close their doors during this pandemic.

In our previous blog, we published details of the FREE security systems review and 20% discount we’re offering to all businesses.

That’s right, if you need to upgrade your current security system, were on hand to help with a:

  • FREE  – no-obligation security system review
  • 20% discount to all existing and new customers

This article covers the industries most at risk during this pandemic from a rise in crime.

We also make practical suggestions on the best security systems we can install, to help tackle these threats.

This article is fully researched and backed up with information from leading experts and industry publications.

Before we begin, we’d like to reference a recent Letter from the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) regarding criminal activity facing businesses during COVID-19.

The letter is wide-ranging and contains the following quote from, Commissioner Ian Dyson QPM, NPCC lead for business-related crime:

“We are seeing unprecedented times and the full impact of Covid-19 has yet to be seen but policing is well prepared with a range of plans in place which will see people and resources moved to meet demand.  I am being up kept updated with challenges faced by business through the National Business Crime Centre and we will continue to protect people and prevent crime. I would encourage businesses to continue to report crimes although as the impact increases policing will have to make some difficult decisions so as to maintain a level of service to the public.”

Advice for small businesses – protection against crime during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Quickly identify any vulnerable areas in and around your business premises. If you find any weak spots, rectify these immediately
  • Ensure you have secured your business’ security gates, bollards and all fire exit doors prior to closure of your business.
  • Ensure that you have fully closed and locked down all service doors, and secured them when no longer in use
  • Ensure you have a list of all key holders who you can contact in times of emergency. Including as a break-in, an act of vandalism or violence against your security teams
  • Make sure that all staff contact details are currently up to date in case of an emergency
  • Use common sense and move high ticket items into fully secured stockrooms. Also make sure they are out-of-site from potential criminals
  • Ensure all keys to the business or other venues / outlets are not inside your premises. Alongside ensuring only the dedicated key holders have possession of them.
  • Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is on at the premises and surrounding areas such as your business car park
  • Have you thought about the threat of arson to your business? Ensure there are no flammable materials in and around your business premises such as packaging, gas bottles, clothing and more. It isn’t just theft businesses need to look out for.
  • Review your CCTV to confirm it is fully operational, provides high quality, preferably HD images and is positioned to cover as much of the business’s public and private areas a possible. If you need to upgrade your CCTV systems, pick a quality supplier, preferably one that is fully accredited and partners with leading manufacturers. When it comes to video surveillance we work with Hikvision, Alhua, and Avigilon
  • You should consider a mobile phone app. These allow remote connectivity to your CCTV system, as well as an audio capacity to engage with any intruder. A remotely monitored CCTV system will have this covered if you’re looking for optimum performance and security 
  • Ensure that you retain no cash on your business premises overnight (leave a note on the door stating that no cash or valuables are there overnight). Alternatively, store them in a security accredited safe, bolted to the floor.
  • If you operate a farm or rural business, ensure that you have fully stored away all machinery and equipment, and protected them from thieves. A robust farm CCTV system coupled with a quality alarm system will help.

Which businesses will be most affected by crime during COVID-19?

In this next section, we look at the businesses criminal activity most likely to affect and the measures they can take to help the potential impact 

Hospitals – thieves are targeting valuable medical supplies and face masks

Criminals are sinking lower and lower during this pandemic. 

There have been reports in various online news sites of people stealing vital medical equipment from hospitals up and down the country.

Our advice?

Review your current CCTV capability and make the right upgrades where needed. To help catch criminals, an HD CCTV system installation will provide the crystal clear images you need 

Where security is stretched on-site, consider installing a remotely monitored CCTV system. A dedicated security operative externall manages these monitored video surveillance systems and can reduce the cost of security by up to 80%

Construction site security – plant theft and vandalism

When looking to protect and a construction site, there is a range of security systems to meet varying needs and requirements. An investment in a robust CCTV system will help deter and reduce crime on a construction site.

The same can be said of a solid perimeter or robust intruder alarm system.

Recent reports are indicating a 50% increase in plant theft on construction sites. This is incredibly harmful to an industry, as it hampers them with a slow down in new property purchases during this period.

Our advice?

Have a fully integrated perimeter alarm and CCTV system installed to help deter and catch criminals.

If you’re looking into your own site security requirements, have a read of our ‘Guide to Construction Site Security

Farms and rural business – plant equipment and livestock theft

There are various measures operators of farms and rural businesses should take to protect themselves from the risks associated with rural crime and equipment theft.

It’s a known fact that rural crime is on the up and has been for years. The scourge of crime in the agricultural sector is growing and growing. The current pandemic is exacerbating this problem within the farming industry.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the farming industry has seen a staggering increase in crime. Due to consumers stockpiling food (it’s not just loo-rolls!!) thieves are now looking to cash in and crime has increased by around 50%. 

An article we’ve read discusses how thieves are cashing in on the ballooning demand for food at the moment.

Our advice?

If you have a dedicated security team on-site, invest in a High Definition CCTV system. If this isn’t the case there are various options to have a fully monitored CCTV system designed and installed on your farm.

Where possible, invest in a perimeter security alarm system that fully integrates with your farm’s security cameras. This way if criminals breach the perimeter, your CCTV surveillance cameras can track and monitor the criminal while you contact the Police.

Solar farm security – protecting your solar site from the theft of panels

Finally, solar farm security is an area we have a great deal of expertise in.

It’s likely crime will be on the rise in this sector over the next year and beyond.

Solar farms are located in rural areas. This gives thieves the time and opportunity to make off with thousands of pounds of valuable sellable loot.

Our advice?

We would recommend two potential security systems to help reduce crime on solar farm sites.

A solid perimeter security system for a solar site will help to deter criminals from gaining access to the solar farm. Only recently we completed a project for a perimeter alarm system for a solar site in Wales.

In addition to this, a high-performing, CCTV system for a solar farm can help to catch criminals in the act. Remotely monitored CCTV systems when employed correctly can help reduce the cost of security by up to 80%. 

Our team of security engineers have recently completed a project where we designed and installed a remotely monitored CCTV system at a solar farm in the UK.  

If you’re looking for a security system for a solar farm you’re in the right place.

Looking for a security systems upgrade?

If you operate in one of these industries you should take advantage of our FREE no-obligation security system review.

As experts installers of CCTV surveillance systems, access control and security alarms across Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Oxfordshire we’re on hand to help.

Just head over to our contact page, and fill in the form and we’ll be in touch.