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Business Crime Prevention - Keeping Your Business Safe

A key part of keeping your business safe is taking steps to reduce your risks of things going wrong.

Download our information booklet "Protecting your business against crime: A practical crime prevention guide for retailers and business owners."

What is business crime?

The National Business Crime Centre officially defines business crime as: “Any criminal offence where a business, or person in the
course of their employment, is the victim”.

What you can do to reduce your risks of being targeted

Make it difficult for a criminal to gain entry to your business:

  • Protect doors and windows; have enhanced security doors and windows certificated to PAS 24:2016/2022 standards installed. Doors and windows tested and certificated to this standard have been subject to physical attacks with tools such as screwdrivers and chisels as well as impact testing    
  • Secure windows with laminated glazing
  • Fit security grilles or shutters for vulnerable openings such as rear ground floor doors and windows or those that can be accessed off a flat roof
  • Secure the rear and side boundaries with a 1.8m to 2m high security fence such as paladin

Keep valuables out of site

Ensure anything that may attract a criminal to your business is removed from view:

  • Lock valuable items such as tools and machinery away when the business is unoccupied
  • Leave tills empty and open. Move high value stock from displays close to windows and doors to more secure areas such as behind payment areas and where they would be clearly visible to staff
  • Ensure valuable office equipment such as computers, cameras and iPads are not clearly visible through ground floor windows
  • Store valuable items in a safe that is bolted in position. Consider a time locked safe to secure items overnight

Remove anything that might be used to commit crime

Items should not be accessible to criminals that may help them commit a crime:

  • Ensure ladders and tools are not readily available at your business 
  • Clear away rubble and bricks from the business site as these can be used to smash windows
  • Chain wheelie bins to railings, these are often used as climbing aids and to remove property from a scene

Reducing gains for criminals

Criminals will want to get maximum gain from taking the risk of entering your business:

  • Security mark property with permanent solutions such as Smartwater/Slectadna
  • If an offender does enter your business minimise what can be taken e.g. ensure keys to vehicles are not obtainable, use dummy stock
  • For larger businesses consider smoke and dye systems. Smoke based systems activate coloured smoke in the event of a robbery. Dye based systems stain banknotes with a liquid dye making notes easy to identify as stolen
  • Large businesses may benefit from a fire alarm system to reduce the impact of an arson attack 

Control access

Implement measures that restrict movement around your business:

  • Prevent offenders ram-raiding your business by installing security bollards
  • Restrict unauthorised entry into the building with access control panels such as keypads/keyfobs.  Introduce an ID card system
  • Fit barriers to restrict vehicular access onto business car parks when the business is closed
  • Restrict access to the side and rear of the building by installing lockable gates
  • Internal security measures would slow down the movement of an intruder within the building, which would increase the chances of detection by security patrols or police


Criminals do not want to be seen or heard - this increases the chance of them being caught:     

  • Join the local Business Watch Scheme and sign up to In The Know   (our community messaging system)
  • Allow passers-by to clearly see your business by cutting back trees and shrubbery. This will make any suspicious behaviour easier to see and contributes to making offenders more uncomfortable in targeting your business    
  • Install a day/night capable infrared CCTV system to protect your business around the clock. 

Make Environmental Change

Thieves like familiar routes knowing they can leave quickly if required, environments should be tidy and well maintained:

  • Ensure the environment around your business is not attractive to a criminal e.g. poor lighting with easy means of escape away from your premise via a concealed footpath
  • Work with local authorities to report incidents of fly tipping or broken street lights to ensure that environments are well maintained. Criminals feel more comfortable in a chaotic poorly maintained environment    
  • Situate external seating areas and refuse bins where they do not create a climbing aid to gain access into the business

Display Advisory Signage

Displaying warning signs around your business can help deter thieves:

  • Display signage indicating that visitors must report to reception on arrival
  • Ensure employees wear I.D Cards at all times
  • Have a formal reporting policy that staff follow to log suspicious activity. Share this information with your neighbouring businesses and local Neighbourhood Policing Team
  • Report suspicious activity to your local police online, via 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Increase the chances of criminals being caught

Maximise the potential for an offender to be seen around your business, reduce concealment points:

  • Illuminate exterior doors with low energy dusk till dawn security lights
  • Have an intruder alarm fitted to your business. Having it monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) offers further protection. ARC’s provide reassurance that intruder alarms are monitored around the clock.  Activation signals are sent to a monitoring centre where they are filtered as false activations that are neither crime related or caused by genuine intrusion. In the event of a confirmed signal the relevant emergency service will be contacted on your behalf   
  • Fit contacts to all doors and windows. These will activate if an offender attempts forcing the doors and windows. Have motion detectors fitted internally to rooms within your business.  These will trigger the alarm if movement is detected inside the building. Consider having panic alarm buttons fitted to reception areas 
  • Obtain 3 quotes from alarm installation companies. Choosing a company that is a member of the NSI (National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Inspectorate Board) is recommended.
  • Encourage staff to challenge unknown visitors. ‘Can I help you?’ is a polite greeting to a legitimate visitor but also a challenge to an intruder looking for a crime opportunity as it requires them to explain their presence


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