Burglary and vandalism are ongoing security concerns for retail and commercial premises. Crime can also act as a serious barrier to economic development. Direct losses arising from theft, or attacks on property and vandalism, can undermine or risk the viability of many businesses.

Preventing burglary and vandalism

The physical protection of a retail premises from burglary and vandalism follows the crime prevention principle of ‘protect from the perimeter inwards’. Ensuring that premises are well protected and present a high risk to the prospective offender can reduce the opportunity for burglary. Well-protected premises with good security procedures will deter the criminal from attempting to enter or damaging the premises. In the event of a robbery, the offender will have less time available to commit the crime and the chances of being apprehended are increased.

Here are some actions retailers or business owners can take to help prevent crime:

  • The premises should remain well-illuminated after closing to ensure high visibility and increase the likelihood of intruders being noticed.
  • Grilles or shutters should be considered to provide a solid barrier around the shell of the building to help prevent intruders gaining entry.
  • Some roll-down grilles provide physical protection whilst still allowing window shoppers to see into the premises.
  • Internal grilles may be fitted which will have a similar level of protection for the premises only leaving the glass windows and/or the doors exposed.
  • Anti-ram bollards, removable during trading hours, may be used in conjunction with shutters or grilles.
  • Laminated glass may be used in the windows to increase resistance to attack.
  • Anti-climb brackets may be installed on conduits, drainpipes etc., to prevent intruders gaining access to the roof.
  • Doors and locks should be fitted and maintained to recognised security specifications.
  • Cash Tills, after trading hours, left open and empty – cash amounts held on the premises should be kept to the minimum in proper security cash safes.
  • Access to the premises should be restricted during closing hours and all keys issued should be inspected on a regular basis. A modern access control system should be considered.
  • An intruder alarm system to standard (EN 50131) should be installed and connected to an approved monitoring station to standard (IS 228/97). Panic Attack Buttons – double push type – for persons operating in cash areas should be included in the systems.
  • All locks and safes should be to a high security quality with a regulated locking/unlocking system established and responsibility for their opening/closing clearly delegated.
  • CCTV cameras should be strategically positioned, in line with operational requirements, both inside and outside the retail premises. The positioning of cameras at all public entrance(s), with captured images of persons to recognition standard, should be paramount, as this will be an important factor in post-incident analysis and the investigation of captured images will determine their subsequent value for evidential purposes.
  • Unnecessary boxes, skips or other obstructions should be removed from the vicinity of the premises – these are potential aids to the burglar and attract the vandal. Within stores, displays and goods should be organised to allow for maximum visibility and accountability. Toilets, storerooms and other possible hiding places should be visited when the store is being locked. If there is a constant threat of burglary or vandalism at the premises, or in the vicinity, the use of a manned security patrol or in-house security may need to be considered.

Article source from An Garda website