The impact of professional security companies on low-level crime

Only 8% of crimes recorded in England and Wales resulted in suspects being charged or summonsed in the year ending March 2019.

Low-level crime and the police

Back in 2017, the Metropolitan Police confirmed they were to stop investigating many lower-level crimes. Spending cuts mean crimes which were judged to have little prospect of identifying a suspect are now quickly dropped. Often this is within 24 hours.

In October 2018, The Guardian reported that in 2017, the Met “screened out” 34,164 crimes without further investigation on the same day on which they were reported. Not only that, only 8% of crimes ended with suspects being charged or summonsed in England and Wales in the 12 months up to March 2019.

With the police struggling to investigate or convict perpetrators of low-level crime, the use of private security companies has become ever more important.

Here’s how security companies can impact on ‘low level’ crime.

Security officers can reduce graffiti damage

Graffiti is often thought of as a victimless crime. Nothing is taken and no-one is hurt. But, as well as making the area look messy, graffiti can have a negative effect on local businesses. The association of an area with crime can result in lower footfall for local businesses. This means fewer customers and lower sales.

However, where CCTV is not in operation, the chances of a conviction for criminal damage are slim.

This is where security officers come in. During routine patrols, they can identify suspicious characters on site, perhaps helping to prevent a criminal act. They may even catch those causing criminal damage in the act.

At the very least, detecting any damage earlier, increases the likelihood of a successful conviction.

Mobile security patrols can prevent arson

In 2017, stated that 47% of all fires attended by fire and rescue services in England are classed as deliberate.

This included 21,961 arson cases that were recorded by police in England and Wales.

Of these cases, there were only 1,242 successful prosecutions.

Hotspots for arson include vacant premises and large premises. Often seen as a bit of fun, small fires can quickly spread causing large amounts of damage.

The routine inspections by mobile security patrol officers can help prevent this type of crime. Where the timings of a patrol vary, anti-social behaviour is discouraged.

Prevent trespassing to reduce criminal damage

Construction sites are susceptible to unauthorised access and criminal damage. Often youths looking for a bit of fun, the minor disturbances they cause can create a big problem for foremen.

Kicking around barrels, moving equipment or damaging new structures may not seem too harmful, but the time spent correcting these misdemeanours can result in delays on site that cost hundreds of pounds.

Having a static security guard on-site can eliminate this problem. Unauthorised access is restricted, so the security of your site is ensured.

Preventing low-level crime can save money

Low-level crime is often seen as having low costs. But the impact on business owners is considerable. Time taken to remove graffiti, return moved equipment to its rightful place or clean up after a minor arson attack can result in lost sales or customer service to suffer.

Then there are the secondary benefits. Having less graffiti can also improve the aesthetics of an area, leading to more sales. Preventing trespass can reduce accidental damage.

So you can see, in a time when police are struggling, private security can have a huge impact.

Abbey Security provide security to businesses in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

We provide the whole spectrum of security solutions to businesses throughout East Anglia. From mobile patrols to static guards, we provide fully trained security officers who can help prevent low-level crime. Where our police forces are increasingly stretched, hiring private security can have a positive impact on our local areas. To find out more, please call us on 01284 768832 or fill out our contact form.

Posted on July 26, 2019

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