While much time, energy and investment are currently being poured into protecting businesses from online threats, boosting cyber security and constantly patrolling for incoming viruses, it is important not to take your eye off the ball from good old, old fashioned, physical security threats as well.

During the first three months of 2022, the UK police recorded a total of 57,254 burglaries (commercial and residential). That works out as nearly 4800 burglaries were happening across the UK every week.

One of the most stomach churning calls you can take in the middle of the night is from the police, telling you that your premises have been broken in to.

The cost to any individual and business who has suffered from theft and damage to property is as much psychological as it is financial.

You feel guilty that you could have done so much more, or worried about the effect it will have on your employees. There are perhaps feelings of suspicion amongst your workforce – was one of them surreptitiously involved, had they given inside information to someone outside the company, even if it was inadvertently.

You feel as though a little but of faith in society has been eroded away. Over time, as you pick up the pieces and clear up the mess, you will run a gamut of emotions – anger, mistrust, isolation and fear.

Victims are reported to have feelings of violation, often leading to sleeplessness and increased anxiety. It creates a hypervigilance and sense of paranoia that can often linger for months, if not years after the incident.

The financial impact and loss is an inconvenience at the very least. Long term it can cause insurance costs to radically increase.

If you are concerned about increasing crime rates in your area, you may want to review your current security measures. Commercial property security has improved dramatically in recent years, and any investments you make now could end up giving you emotional and economic savings in the future.

You may want to review the following measures for improving your commercial property security.


The quality of CCTV technology has advanced greatly. Wider panoramas, higher resolutions and accurate sensors are combined with increased cloud to cloud integration , which means that better overall quality is available with lower operational costs.


Prominent cameras supplemented by increased signage will always act as a deterrent to passing criminals. One study that surveyed over 400 burglars who were serving their sentences in prison highlighted that signage was one of the top ten deterrents when they were cruising the streets looking for potential targets. This is a relatively low cost method that you can put in place quickly. Signs need to be placed near all the entry points and accessible windows. Additional signs or stickers can be placed in visible windows, and along external and boundary fences and gates. Don’t skint on them – you can never have too many.

Better lighting

Further site security can be achieved with improved lighting. In external areas, such as yards, car parks and entrances, combine permanent spotlights with motion sensor lights. Timers can be fitted to interior lights, giving the impression that the building is occupied.

Mobile patrols

Using a mobile patrol security team is a more effective way of having a physical presence on your commercial site. Visits are randomised day by day and week by week.

Finally, make sure you do look after your workforce, as they will also feel the aftereffects of a break in. They may no longer feel safe working late and having to cross a dark car park. They may feel that you no longer trust them, even though they haven’t done anything. They may start to have more and more paranoid and hypervigilant thoughts that follow them home. Offer to have a counsellor come in for a few hours one day to debrief everyone after the incident and give them coping strategies if they are struggling.

You May Also Like