What to do if your business has been burgled
If you’ve found yourself in the dismal position of being a victim of a business burglary, it’s easy to wallow in the feelings that follow. Take a minute, have a reset before getting into fight mode in order to learn from any mistakes. Aside from the obvious reaction of reporting the incident to the police, follow our guide on what to do if your business has been burgled to help you progress and get proactive. We’ve got your back.
Board up any windows and lock up
Firstly, be sure to perform a perimeter check to see if all your locks, windows and doors are still intact. If you unfortunately find that there are some smashed windows or broken doors, get them boarded up and secured as soon as possible. Consider installing security bars as well whilst you work on replacing or repairing any damage.
Tell your bank
Informing your bank immediately is especially important if any sensitive financial documents have been stolen. Tell them to look out for suspicious movements of money, and to freeze accounts you suspect have been targeted.
Inform staff and clients
It’s important to inform all those affected as soon as possible or to give an update so that anyone who may have relevant information or if anything has been stolen from them is able to pass this onto the police. You don’t want to stall any investigations. Get a face-to-face meeting booked in as soon as you can, if possible. If you manage a large company, then inform the relevant heads of department to organise, ordering any members of each team to go through their senior management for any information or evidence to share.
Get the community involved
Depending on your business, you could get the community on side to help. By informing them and asking for help, you could be upping the chances of catching the criminal. If you’re a small business with a good connection to the locals, then a social media update or simple word of mouth may be all the help you need. Check with the police first about what to state. But a social call out can spread the word to get more eyes on the case. And just as you’re sat head in hands one day trying to work through, you could have a knock at the door or some loyal customers greeting you with some donations or kindly coming to offer help.
Time for a stock check
The sooner you do this, the better, so the police know exactly what to look out for and for you to understand which valuables and assets have gone missing. Your insurance company will also need to know what damage has been done. Do a full inventory check to provide some order and a checklist, and work from there. Figure out what needs replacing right away and what can wait, and again, if any financial documents, safes, business cards etc. have been stolen. Make sure the bank is aware and any relevant people, suppliers, clients and partners are also informed.
Do a burglary risk assessment
Just as we carry out regular fire risk assessments to improve fire safety, we should be carrying out a burglary risk assessment. Put the ‘burglar hat’ on and try to get into the mindset of a criminal and start from outside or where your business or premises begins.
Work your way around the perimeter to target and note any weak spots. Assess any damage, faulty locks, wear and tear, vandalism, forced entry signs, working your way inside and monitor what goes on when the business is up and running. For instance, are staff remembering to lock away laptops, operate window shutters at the end of the day, turn on alarms? And, of course, test your security alarms regularly.
Another good idea is to repeat background checks on staff after a burglary. This is to cover your back, especially if you’ve missed any recently with a cohort of new hires. Check for any missed discrepancies, and if anything stands out as suspicious.
CCTV and improved security
If you haven’t already got CCTV in place, then now is the perfect time to consider CCTV system installation. Make sure you run through these CCTV camera placement guidelines to ensure you have them in all the optimum places; that’s where the professionals come in.
If you do have CCTV, then you know exactly what to do with it, and so does the police. Those video analytics will come in handy. But, don’t forget about your neighbours – business or residential. If they have security cameras, and any that point towards your business, the road, surrounding area or blind spots that your CCTV doesn’t cover, then there may be crucial footage elsewhere also.
If your business is on the larger side or growing, then it may be time for some security kiosks and security guards to keep watch, and make sure your exterior lighting is bright and working perfectly to spotlight any suspicious acts.
If sensitive paperwork is piling up, or you’re running out of space with surplus equipment you want to keep hold of, then consider a safe or lockers. Or if there’s quite a lot of valuable assets lying around still that have fortunately not been taken, invest in storage facilities offsite.
For further information and guidance on improving your workplace security, speak to the experts right here, and get in touch to discuss what would suit your premises.