The recent riots around UK didn’t come without warning or prediction. In a survey of our customers, contacts and prospects, 53% cited theft as the greatest security threat to their business. In most cases fear of property theft was higher than the fear of Intellectual Property (IP) theft, which was only mentioned by 2% of respondents. Anti-social behaviour was rated as the second biggest threat to businesses. Businesses surveyed included retailers, local authorities, recreational facilities and commercial buildings – the very targets of the riots.
The riots in London and other major cities across the UK were the result of a culmination of social factors. At first glance, fingers can be pointed at a lack of parental control and discipline as many of the rioters were in their teens. But what is really worrying is that an investigation into the riots in Manchester showed that a majority of the rioters already had a criminal record. Clearly our justice system needs to come up with a way to prevent people re-offending and keeping those with a criminal record and who pose a threat under surveillance.
These results confirm our own findings in the sense that the greatest fears faced by modern businesses revolve around physical attacks on property and premises. It is therefore a shame that despite being aware of such threats, adequate security measures were not put in place as a palliative measure before the riots happened.
As businesses look at different ways of reducing the risks and protecting their buildings, it should be remembered that security guards remain the most successful deterrent to such crimes. During the riots, in some cases, there was a time gap between anti-social behaviour starting and the Police taking action to control it. Professional guards not only help secure property but they can also provide valuable intelligence-based surveillance and knowledge about the area. This is a vital tool in helping the Police bring a situation under control.
Whilst the fear of IT and IP theft remained low in this particular survey they are ongoing risks. They require complex solutions, which is why businesses should have a comprehensive and integrated strategy for their all their security management needs.
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