101 ways to crime-proof your workplace
1. Brainstorm ways to protect your business.
Consult your staff, your local Crime Prevention Officer and a security firm.
2. Befriend the police.
They are a valuable resource and accept any help they offer.
3. Utilise multiple measures.
Don’t simply rely on one or two security techniques.
4. Get your staff on board.
Include employees in all crime and safety briefings.
5. Consult other businesses.
Work together to share information, use your contacts and protect your livelihoods.
6. Carry out regular security risk assessments.
Criminals adapt and tactics change, be prepared.
7. Security matters.
Balance the cost of controlling any risks, with the impact a crime could have on your
8. Have adequate security measures.
If an insurance company has any doubt over your security, they may not pay out if you make a claim. Take advice from a professional security firm like Key Patrol.
9. Choose quality.
Fit the best alarm and security system you can afford, consult an alarm response service.
10. Invest in good quality locks.
Use a trained locksmith who specialises in security services.
11. Use a keyholding company.
An established keyholding company like Key Patrol’s security services, prevent false alarms draining your finances. Alarm response experts will be sent swiftly and liaise with the police if necessary.
12. Install gate locks.
Fit them at all entrances to your premises, with vandal resistant self closers.
13. Employ a lock/unlock security firm.
Key Patrol’s security services are a reliable option; experienced staff will open your property and secure it at night.
14. Consider a coded entry lock.
Depending on the size of your site, an intercom may be more appropriate.
15. Use an alarm response service.
Someone will be dispatched promptly to deal with alarms at awkward hours, so use an experienced company like Key Patrol.
16. Expect a smart solution.
Criminals will watch target buildings to establish when security patrols take place, therefore Key Patrol’s mobile patrols take place at random times.
17. Employ a high visibility criminal deterrent.
Uniformed guards in marked vehicles guard your premises when you can’t be there; uniforms add an air of authority.
18. Have ID badges.
Issue staff with ID badges to be displayed at all times.
19. Get an entry book.
Implement a sign in and out policy.
20. Monitor visitors.
Staff should check the ID of any visitors to your site.
21. Only accept pre-planned deliveries.
Assign an employee to call the originating office if there are any doubts over the integrity of a parcel.
22. Use a well maintained CCTV surveillance system.
Accurately monitor movements outside your business, as well as inside.
23. Consider infrared (IR) CCTV.
This system enables you to capture activities in darkness.
24. A remote CCTV technician can monitor your site for you.
Trained observation staff will ensure only significant nocturnal events are reported.
25. Make a point of monitoring your customer car park.
Give your customers confidence that your business is interested in their safety.
26. Minimise the risks from organised crime.
Liaise regularly with your local police force, who can inform you of local or national security issues.
27. Purchase a counterfeit money detector.
Don’t rely on manual methods.
28. Maintain your counterfeit money detector carefully.
Update the software regularly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
29. Choose a valid manufacturer.
Only use a detector that has passed the Bank of England tests, as detailed on their website.
30. Always report organised crime.
If your business is targeted by extortionists or blackmailers, don’t stand for it. Fear of doing so makes retail companies highly vulnerable to further offences.
31. Be aware of corporate identity fraud.
This crime causes financial losses, as well as damaging your reputation. Be aware of the latest scams.
32. Have fraud protection procedures in place now.
Train staff to recognise fraud and how to prevent it.
33. Buy domain addresses similar to your legitimate address.
It costs a few pounds a year and prevents criminals buying them to exploit your company name.
34. Ask your IT staff to be proactive.
They should be regularly checking that sites mimicking your own, have not already been set up.
35. Shred documents.
Shred any information on paper, before disposing of it.
36. Keep information secure at home.
Make sure laptops containing work information are only taken home by trusted employees.
37. Watch your accounts.
Carry out regular audits; follow the trail of any suspicious activity back to its source.
38. Perform surprise checks on online accounts.
Transactions move so fast in internet banking that an irregular payment could be hidden.
39. Be thorough in your reconciliations.
Always perform your end of month procedure and check for inconsistencies.
40. Use a reliable accountant.
They can identify irregular accounting and save you money in the long run.
41. Choose which causes to support carefully.
Only donate to established charities.
42. Avoid high return investment schemes.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
43. Never be pressured into making a quick decision.
This is not how legitimate companies operate.
44. New business contacts should have a physical address.
A PO Box number suggests a transient company.
45. Do your research on new contacts.
Search on the internet for the companies name, including the terms ‘complaints’ or ‘review’.
46. Invest in credit checks on new customers.
Establish their credit worthiness before proceeding.
47. Initially ask for immediate payment.
Use 30 day terms for trusted clients.
48. Use a verification service for sales to new online customers.
A list of these can be found at the cardwatch website.
49. Set strict credit limits and stick to them.
Don’t be tempted by the extra business, you can only rely on money in the bank.
50. Only allow vetted staff to place orders.
Sadly, businesses are at risk from internal sources too.
51. Follow up staff references without fail.
Ask to see original copies of their qualifications and check the validity of these if you are in any doubt.
52. Be kind to new staff.
Take time to chat to them on their first day, show them the face behind the organisation. The personal approach could dissuade a recruit from committing a crime against your business.
If you are the victim of a crime perpetrated by a member of your staff, prosecution is a proven deterrent.
54. Whistle blowing.
Have an open door policy for members of staff with concerns over a colleague, treat all information in confidence.
55. Report scams, even if you have dodged them.
Anything you may have spotted will help out the business community at large.
56. Use the Companies House Webfiling system to file your company details.
This lowers the chance of personal or business details being stolen.
57. Consider eradicating paper cheques.
They are easier to alter than electronic transactions. Lock your cheque book away and never pre sign.
58. Bankers drafts take six days to clear.
If you accept them, wait until they clear before releasing the goods.
59. Only accept high value cheques from a trusted source.
Automated payments are far less risky.
60. Bank safe.
If you use online banking, be sure to log out after each session.
61. Use firewalls on every computer.
This is the first obstacle for viruses and hackers.
62. Create strong passwords for your system.
Encourage staff to use complex passwords, change them regularly and avoid writing them down.
63. Invest in good anti-virus software.
Once it is installed, check for updates regularly, to prevent malicious spyware from infiltrating your IT system.
64. Beware social media sites.
Staff should use strong passwords and avoid discussing work online. Any comments made about your company can potentially be seen by hundreds of people.
65. Get a secure password for your Wi-Fi network.
Change it regularly, to avoid your signal being ‘piggybacked’ illegally.
66. Do not use public Wi-Fi for business transactions.
These widely available signals are far more open to security breaches.
67. Avoid personal ID theft.
Only release personal details to trusted sites.
68. Check for web site security.
When making a secure transaction, the address should start ‘https://’.
69. Encrypt sensitive files relating to personnel and financial matters.
Ensure you hold a second copy at another location and back up both files regularly.
70. Watch unsolicited emails.
Never send account information or personal details in response to an email request. No legitimate financial organisation would encourage this practice, inform staff this is the case.
71. If you feel you are being targeted through your email account, act.
Report your concerns to your internet service provider.
72. Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
These can be an entry point into your computer.
73. If you think your IT system is compromised, get help.
Involve the police and an experienced computer technician, don’t let it escalate.
74. Have some back up.
Buy a generator to maintain your computer system in the event of a power cut.
75. Encourage to staff to treat each other with dignity.
Employers have a responsibility to guard their workforce from bullying and harassment. Put in place controls and procedures to facilitate this.
76. Lock all doors and windows at the end of each day.
Consider grilles or shutters, if appropriate.
77. Never leave your keys unattended.
For peace of mind, try a keyholding company.
78. Install a wide counter at first contact points.
Put a barrier between staff and customers.
79. Rotate lunch hours and breaks.
Make sure there is always an employee presence.
80. Advertise your security.
Put up clear and conspicuous signs, detailing your security protection.
81. Perform regular stock takes.
Spot irregularities early.
82. Do not display expensive goods after hours.
When the premises are empty, lock high end goods away from sight in secure storage.
83. Guard your stock.
Arrange your sales room so staff can observe customers and spot shoplifters.
84. Staff welfare.
Train front line staff to recognise early signs of aggression. Establish safety procedures, so your staff can deal will problem customers.
85. Remove all notes, posters and adverts from your windows.
Allow staff to spot suspicious activities outside.
86. Landscape your surroundings effectively.
Eliminate hiding places and use adequate lighting.
87. Protect lone employees.
Give them a torch and personal alarm, ensure they have an itinerary and can be reached on a mobile phone.
88. Protect mobile staff.
Encourage them to travel during safe times and keep their phone charged. Keep a schedule of their movements and tell them to inform you if they don’t stick to it.
89. Screen safety.
If there are many cash transactions on the premises, consider a reinforced glass screen for an extra level of protection.
90. Cash up and bank at the end of each day.
Its good practice and secures the cash.
91. Count up privately.
Do not count money when you are visible to the public.
92. Vary the employee designated to bank your cash.
The same person will become conspicuous to a thief.
93. Never display cash bags in the street.
Put them inside of another bag.
94. Control the risk of theft.
If you are banking the cash, go directly to the bank.
95. Always empty the tills at the end of the day.
Leave the trays open.
96. Lock the cash in a safe if you cannot bank it.
Display a sign saying there is no cash on the premises.
97. Have a major incident plan.
Ensure employees know what action to take and will be expected of them.
98. Stay calm in a crisis.
If a robbery takes place, encourage staff to keep calm and not risk their personal safety.
99. Do not tackle a robber.
Do take mental notes and try to see which escape route is taken.
100. Have a panic button fitted.
It can be integrated into your security system, these are out of general sight and can be pressed secretly.
101. Always be observant at work.
If a crime of any kind occurs make comprehensive notes and take photos. Inform the police, present your evidence and be a good witness.
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