Which businesses are most prone to theft and break-ins?

Running a business isn't just about profit margins and customer relations. It's also about ensuring the safety of your assets, employees and premises.

One of the significant threats that businesses face is the risk of theft and break-ins which can lead to substantial financial losses and costly damage to your property and reputation.

According to the 2022 Commercial Victimisation Survey published by the Home Office, theft was the most common type of crime experienced in the preceding 12 months. Understanding the nature of this threat and the ways to mitigate it is the first step towards recognising that they are calculated risks taken by criminals who identify vulnerabilities in business security and exploit them.

Abbey Security Services are all too familiar with the devious and cunning tactics employed by thieves and the impact it can have on business owners throughout East Anglia.

The most vulnerable industries for theft and break-in’s

Some businesses are more vulnerable to theft than others. This can depend on several factors, such as the nature of their operations, it’s location, the value of their assets and its security measures.

Businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are often prime targets due to high cash flows and valuable inventory. Warehousing and logistics companies also face significant risks due to the high value of the stored goods. Similarly, businesses in the construction sector are vulnerable to the theft of equipment and materials, including high value metal products like copper, as well as diesel fuel, which are often left unattended at worksites.

Why are businesses prone to theft and break-in’s?

Businesses are targeted when access to goods and premises is easy. Criminals are more likely to seek out businesses that appear to have weak security measures or that are located in low-traffic areas. Similarly, businesses that operate outside of regular business hours or that have unattended premises are also at higher risk.

A lack of effective security measures can make businesses more prone to theft and break-in’s including inadequate physical security, such as the absence of locks or alarms.

Common types of theft and break-in’s

Theft and break-in’s in businesses can take many forms. The types we often think of are burglary, where criminals break into a business to steal valuables, shoplifting, such as stealing merchandise from a retail store and employee theft, which can involve stealing cash or inventory.

But sometimes theft does not favour a particular industry. In 2023, we have seen a spate of air conditioning unit thefts across many businesses in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Stolen for their scrap metal – copper, aluminium and other valuable materials, air con units can be easy to target due to being externally positioned, inviting thieves to seize the opportunity where security is low.

Posted on December 22, 2023

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