Crime can hit your business in many different ways and cost you thousands in losses, deductibles, and increases in coverage premiums. Crime can also impact your revenue and even cause your business to fail.
In fact, a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that as many as 30% of small business failures are the result of crime (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1995).
This same study concluded that small businesses are even more susceptible to crime. Businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue may be up to 35 times more likely to become a victim of crime than larger businesses.
Crimes of all types-burglary, robbery, vandalism, and even employee theft or sabotage can be devastating to any business.
Physical security is always a great place to start. Good quality deadbolt locks, metal doors, and crossbar posts and latches on entry doors help with physical security. Metal grates for vulnerable windows, perimeter lighting, as well as motion detector lights are needed for outside of your building. Then there are burglar alarms, glass break sensors, and motion detector alarms that you can place at all possible entry points. These are always a part of a good prevention strategy for protecting your business.
Surveillance camera systems are also at the forefront of any good prevention plan and can be a great deterrent. They can identify vehicles, criminals, entry methods, and also what property was taken. Without a good quality security camera system, you may never know how the burglars were able to overcome your physical barriers. Since this helps quickly narrow down what inventory was taken, it will save tons of time on the inventory process. Even with a thorough inventory check, this wouldn’t tell you whether or not you were missing these items prior to the burglary, taken by an employee before or after a break-in, or if a sale was not recorded properly and your inventory totals are simply incorrect.
There are many more things a security camera system can provide clues about. For example, one of our clients noticed when viewing the footage from a break-in, that the thieves (which were unrecognizable to the owner) seemed to know exactly which door had the weakest security. There were other doors with less light and were hidden from view better than the door they chose. Then, upon gaining entry, the burglars ran straight to where the highest value items were store in the warehouse-bypassing items that most burglars would have found attractive.
Clearly, they had inside knowledge. No customers or contractors had been in the warehouse at any time in the past year, so that left the question of-“Did the burglars have help from a current or former employee?” That question was quickly narrowed down to a current employee when the owner realized that the high-value items had been moved to a completely different area of the warehouse within the last six months, yet it had been more than two years since an employee had left or been fired.
Also notable from the clear, sharp video footage-one of the thieves had a limp, one tossed a pair of gloves in the trash, and another wore a jacket that was only given to employees in a local car dealer’s repair shop. All of these clues aided the police in quickly identifying the criminals. In the end, it was discovered that the owner’s most trusted employee, his manager of 22 years, had concocted a scheme with his neighbor to split the proceeds from the robbery.
Without good clear video of the event from multiple surveillance cameras from different angles, this crime would probably have gone unsolved. The “inside” job aspect would have also gone undetected and could have led to further losses.
Security cameras should be your front line of defense alongside the physical barriers to help protect your assets and your business.