Businesses of all sizes can’t afford to compromise security and safety, so we’ve gathered advice for business owners and managers.
To report a crime against your business, please use Hampshire Constabulary’s online reporting facility.
To report a violent assault on a member of staff, always call 999.
Call 999 immediately if:
If you are a member of a business crime reduction partnership, please also record any crime committed against your staff or business on the systems used by the partnership. This will make it easier for the partnership to analyse crime trends in your area and work with the police to target resources appropriately.
Detailed crime prevention advice can be found in the expanding sections below.
Find out more about the work of the Safer Hampshire Business Partnership as well as other opportunities near you to work together with other businesses to tackle business crime.
Head back to the Crime Prevention page to find more advice and tips, check out Hampshire Constabulary’s crime prevention advice, and have a look at these online tips to support your digital business safety.
Incidents of abuse and violence at work are increasing and are a concern that has been highlighted in consultations with local businesses.
What is violence at work?
Any incident during which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to work. This includes verbal abuse, threats and physical attacks.
What can be done?
Some steps that can be taken to avoid situations that could result in violence include:
When confronted with a violent situation it is important that you and your staff remember the following:
Anyone who has been the victim of violence can access support through the Victim Care Service, which is open to all victims no matter what the type of crime, regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police or not, and no matter how recently or how long ago the crime took place.
The Health and Safety Executive have produced a guide for employers to respond to violence in the workplace and a guide on working alone.
Also refer to our guides for dealing with the effects of hate crime or domestic abuse in the workplace – see below.
Supporting Employees affected by Hate Crime
The Safer Hampshire Business Partnership, Hampshire Constabulary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Enterprise Rent-a-Car Ltd have worked together to create an employers’ guide to hate crime, designed for businesses who want to ensure their managers and employees are supported appropriately should they become a victim of or witness a hate crime in the workplace. Read the guides by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Further advice and information on reporting hate crime and getting support if you are affected can be found on our hate crime pages.
Supporting Employees affected by Domestic Violence
The Safer Hampshire Business Partnership and Hampshire Constabulary have created an employers’ guide to domestic abuse, designed for managers who want to offer practical support for employees who are identified as victims. Read the guide by clicking on the thumbnail below.
There are a few simple steps you can take to limit the damage to your assets and stock should your business premises get burgled.
It is also worth considering your business environment. This is the area around your business, for example the street, retail park or pedestrian area. It is worth looking after the appearance of your premises – a well maintained business exterior gives the customer a good first impression and helps increase feelings of security. A business in a run-down state is more likely to attract a criminal.
Police have put together further useful advice on how to protect your business from the outside in.
Secured by Design (SBD) is the UK Police flagship initiative that is founded on the principles of designing out crime and crime prevention
Security and Procedures
An alarm-receiving centre monitors alarm activation so calls can be passed to a security company, the police or someone who has a key.
Intruder alarms may need to be supported by other security devices. These can include CCTV, devices that generate smoke (to impair intruders’ vision) or chemical marker systems. All technical systems must be regularly maintained and used responsibly.
Whatever the size of your business, your staff need to be involved in improving security at your business:
Staff working alone can be especially vulnerable. You can reduce the risk to them with a few simple measures:
Every business should have adequate security and safety procedures. These can include:
You should contact your local crime prevention officer for advice on how to make your premises more secure, but the following tips are a good starting point:
To reduce the amount of shoplifting in your business you could:
Keep windows clean and clear: Remove posters and advertising from windows. Your staff will feel safer as clear windows make it easier for them to spot a potential threat and take action; it also means people passing by can see into your shop, which will put off some criminals.
Notice your customers: Greet all customers as soon as they walk into your shop as criminals often check out premises before they rob them. They don’t normally like places where they know they’ve been seen by staff.
Take extra care when opening and closing: You and your staff may be more vulnerable at these times, if it is possible try to get two people to open and close your shop. Stay alert and look out for suspicious people or vehicles. If you have any concerns, do not open your shop. Move to somewhere safe within the premises, for example into a back office.
Record suspicious incidents: Write down anything suspicious that happens in and around your premises. Include details such as descriptions of the people and vehicles involved, vehicle registration numbers and the date and time of the incident. It will also help you work out whether you need to take specific measures for particular or persistent problems.
Get to know your local police: Working closely with the police can help keep crime down and help you protect your premises better. Let them know about anything suspicious that takes place in your shop and ask for advice on security and crime problems in your area.
Other useful tips:
During a robbery
Despite taking crime prevention measures, you and your staff still need to know what to do in the event of a robbery. Firstly, remember that if you only keep small amounts of cash in your till, robbers will have little to get away with. If your premises are robbed it’s important to:
Immediately after a robbery
Terrorism not only has a major impact on innocent people who are directly affected by it, it also impacts on businesses from the destruction of property to increased insurance premiums.
Counter Terrorism Policing has launched an advertising campaign as part of ACT: Action Counters Terrorism. This campaign aims to encourage the public to remain vigilant, look out for suspicious behaviour and inform people how to report their concerns.
Retailers and other businesses operating in crowded places are also being asked to play their part in countering the terrorist threat. Businesses can do this in two ways, the first being to sign up to ACT Awareness, the innovative online training scheme designed to help industry better understand, and mitigate against, current terrorist methodology.
Sixty Second Security
Secondly, you can consider your business contingency plans and draw up a ‘Sixty Second Security’ plan which has the power to improve your reaction to emergency situations.
Designed to be a quick checklist, it requires businesses to ensure all their staff know the answers to simple questions such as:
Specialist advice for companies operating in crowded places, such as major events, sport stadia, visitor attractions, bars, theatres and shopping centres, is available on the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) website along with CT Policing’s new ACT Awareness e-Learning tool.
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has also developed a series of security awareness campaigns, designed to provide organisations with a complete range of materials they need.
Fraud affects 1 in 4 small businesses every year. It’s important to recognise that a fraud can come from anywhere, including staff members, customers, suppliers and unconnected third parties. Fraud can also seem inherently complicated and difficult to understand, as criminals use a variety of tools and techniques.
Defend your business against fraud
Be sceptical: Always approach deals, opportunities, documents, transactions and information with an inquiring and questioning mind.
Know your business, finances, customers and suppliers: This will help you detect when something is not right, where a seemingly ordinary business request or transaction looks out of the ordinary.
Identify areas of vulnerability and develop a strategy to minimise risk: Identify how a fraudster might target your business. Establish procedures and measures to reduce risk. Ensure you and your staff are familiar these systems, test and review them on a regular basis.
Protect your tech: With increasing threats from cyber-crime, make sure your business technology is adequately protected against attacks. Make sure you have back-up your systems in case they go wrong.
Seek advice and always report fraud and get help: Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. Report fraud here if you have been scammed or defrauded. Action Fraud provides a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. You can also report fraud to the police if the suspect is known to you or still in the vicinity.
Counterfeit bank notes
One of the Bank of England’s key responsibilities as a central bank is to maintain confidence in the currency. The Bank is responsible for providing banknotes that you can use with the confidence that they are genuine. Check out the Bank of England’s advice on how to identify a counterfeit note and what to do if you find one.
Check out these online tips to support your digital business safety.
Employee theft can include a variety of things, such as:
You can reduce the risk of this happening by taking some simple precautionary measures:
If you suspect theft has taken place you should: