This crime prevention information is to assist New Westminster businesses in preventing and reducing business crime and all its negative consequences. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business and retail stores have closed their doors for day-to-day operations. Consider the following tips below in keeping your business safe during COVID-19.
The First Steps in Preventing Break and Enters:
Securing the premises is important in reducing the likelihood of a break and enter. These are steps you can take to make your business more secure against theft:
- Well-lit and open spaces will dissuade thieves from targeting your business. Install vandal resistant lighting and use environmentally friendly LED bulbs.
- At closing, empty out the cash drawer and leave the empty cash drawer in plain view.
- Remove all highly sought after valuables from the store, such as electronics, phones, and jewelry.
- On all external doors use anti-pry hardware and deadbolts with a minimum 1-inch bolt.
- Doors that open or swing-out should have their hinges pinned or a hinge mate installed to prevent an intruder from lifting the door off the hinges.
- Consider installing a security camera. Cameras can send an alert to your mobile phone whenever motion is detected. The NWPD Crime Prevention Unit can advise on the best location for your camera.
- Make sure that exterior doors are solid core and protect any glass with polycarbonate sheets, bars or roll-down covers. Look into installing roll down shutters or boarding up the premise.
- Consider the following options when installing or upgrading an alarm system:
- Have a panic button in case of a robbery.
- Use a monitored alarm so that when activated, police are contacted.
- A complete and up-to-date inventory of your merchandise and equipment should be kept off-site.
- Make frequent checks of the business premise and make these checks on an irregular schedule. To ensure that individuals have not damaged lighting or broken security systems in anticipation of breaking in at a future date.
In the event that your business does get broken into:
- Call the police immediately, dial 9-1-1.
- Do not enter the premises, as the thieves might still be there.
- Do not open the business or allow anyone inside until the police arrive.
Many of the same precautions you use to prevent break and enters, you can also use to deter vandalism. The following are a few steps you can take to prevent vandalism to your storefront or business:
- Get together with the other businesses in your area and agree to watch out for suspicious activity.
- Do not have landscaping that will provide cover or hiding places.
- Keep the area around the building well-lit and visible to the street.
- Since most vandalism occurs at night try to schedule cleaning staff during this time.
- Provide an incentive for reporting vandalism and providing information.
- Repair any vandalism or damage in a timely manner, and remove graffiti as soon as possible.
This same content is available as a PDF: Crime Prevention for Business