Coronavirus – Business Crime Advice

23/03/2020

The Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub was created to improve partnership and
communication with the business community to reduce the impact of crime.

The Coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on our nation’s health and the way we
interact socially. This has had a significant impact on the commercial sector-fiscally and the
risk of increased anti-social behaviour in our stores.

Below are some general crime prevention tips that may assist your organisations in this time.
The impact on stores will vary and will naturally be defined by its location, size, criminality,
customers, produce and its security.

If your staff fall victim to an assault or witness violence in your premises
– Try to remain calm and think of safety: yours, your customers and colleagues is
paramount. If the perpetrator has left the premises, consider recording a description and
reporting this to police as soon as possible.
– Trust your instincts and maximise distance between yourself, customers, colleagues
and any aggressive parties.
– Ensure corporate conflict and exit contingency plans are adhered to.
– Use hold up/ panic alarms if it is appropriate to do so. If there is a hold-up alarm
installed use it, but only when safe to do so.
– Consider the use of body worn video technology to capture evidence and positive
impact the behaviour of those involved in violence on your premises.

Closed Premises/Venues that have been temporarily shut
– Test your alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational
– Identify any vulnerable areas. Rectify these. Ensure security gates, bollards and fire
exit doors have been secured prior to closure of the premises.
– Ensure service doors are closed and locked when not in use.
– Make sure you have list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency.
Ensure your contact details for staff are up to date.
– Consider moving high value items into secured stockrooms and out of view.
– Ensure keys to the premises or other venues are not left inside and are instead with
dedicated key holders.
– Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the
premises/surrounding area.
– Ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as
packaging – consider the risk of arson.
– Review your CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is
positioned to cover as much of the stores public and private areas. You may wish to
consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage
with any intruder.
– Ensure that no cash is retained on the premises overnight (leave a note on the door
stating that no cash or valuables are kept overnight) or store then in a security
accredited safe bolted to the floor.

Physical Protective Measures
– Secure by Design products – use security rated products where possible
(www.securedbydesign.com)
– External shutters are recommended but some buildings may be subject to planning
approval before installation
– Ensure all doors leading from public to staff arteries-loading areas etc are kept secure
and monitored.
– Laminated glass or security film that can be applied to existing glass to make it more
resistant to a physical assault. Shutters and grilles ( subject to planning regulations may
also be a consideration)
– An insurance rated safe should be bolted to the floor. Anti-tamper sensors can be fitted
to set off an alarm if attacked.
– Anti-ram security tested raider retractable bollards can be mounted externally to protect
frontages but may require planning approval.
– Consider use of anti-theft alarms on most desirable household items.
– Fogging devices that activate as a result of an intruder activation may also be
beneficial-you can’t steal what you can’t see.
Large gatherings/Queuing
– Premises should be adequately staffed with prominent management present who can
make decisions or be identifiable to emergency services.
– Consider an allocation system or queuing to provide items that are provided on a
limited basis – or possible keeping these off shop floor for collection.
– Meet and Greets on main entrances to provide reassurance, customer care and a
subliminal message to any prospective thieves.
– Where possible SIA licensed security officers should have a visible presence on the
premises in strategic areas
– All prominent household item areas should have a member of staff regulating them and
depending on risk assessment consider deploying security into these areas.
– Establish queueing contingency plans, including any car parking areas, and ensure
there is commensurate security, and staff in this area and the main entrances.

Reassurance to customers, some of whom may be anxious, is key to reduce anti-social
behaviour.
– Ensure that all staff are fully briefed each day, on emergency procedures and working
practices
– All staff should remain vigilant and report any violence or suspicious activity to the
police.
– Consider minimising the number of entry points to your building in concert with fire
egress.
– Ensure building perimeters are clear of any debris, dustbins, ladders or loose tools and
equipment that could assist entry.
– Check that your emergency equipment/grab bags, first aid supplies and radio
communication systems are operational.
– Check and test your building security and emergency systems.

Should there be an incursion onto your premises that is not disorderly and no offences have
occurred, if police are requested to attend it should be stressed that the officers attending will
expect a representative of the premises to request those trespassing to leave, whilst in the
presence and hearing of the officer.

If the police are asked to assist in the ejection of trespassers, then they are acting as an agent
of the company or premises and have no more powers and privileges than that of an ordinary
member of the public. They would look to stand by to prevent a breach of the peace whilst the
persons are encouraged to leave and escorted onto public land by shop/security staff.

If there are criminal offences apparent then officers will deal with these as they would in any
normal situation.

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