Winter Crime Surge is Back with a Lockdown Twist – is Your Business Ready?

Winter is here, which means it is time again to remind our readers that these next few months are when businesses are at the highest risk of vandalism and theft.

Studies have shown seasonal surges of crime in winter, with a 22.8% increase in business robberies (The Office for National Statistics) and 35% more home insurance claims for burglary (Lloyds Bank) in the winter months. In addition, there is ample evidence that, historically, crime has increased in times of economic hardship.

We won’t know the impact of COVID-19 on top of the usual seasonal crime increase until after the fact, but we have reason to suspect that this year will be even worse and – either way – businesses should take all necessary precautions to prevent criminals making a tough year even more difficult.

Why might winter crime be even worse for businesses this year?

The typical seasonal increase in winter crime is attributed to two factors: longer nights and the demand for goods in the run-up to Christmas.

Longer nights give criminals more opportunities for robbery and burglary, while the Christmas shoppers provide plenty of people who – willingly or unwillingly – are happy to buy goods from suspicious sources if it means they can save some money.

As disposable income is going to be tighter than usual for many people this Christmas, the demand for cheap goods will be high and people who might usually be more discerning may be more inclined to overlook a suspicious seller.

With Christmas shopping footfall well below pre-pandemic levels more people will be doing their shopping on online marketplaces where there is often very little to no oversight for the sale of stolen goods.

This boost in online shopping also means that more goods than ever are going to be sitting in warehouses and moving around the country in lorries. There is already evidence of organised crime taking advantage, with the high profile hijacking of £5 million worth of Apple products from a lorry on the M1.

What should businesses do to mitigate risk?

Warehouses and distribution centres must fortify their defences for what is likely to be a historically high time for organised crime and the recession-proof black market they fuel, while logistics companies should consider security escorts for high value deliveries.

The same is true for the thousands of vacant offices packed with expensive equipment sitting in the open over winter. Usually we advise our clients to pack away their equipment and invest in additional security over the Christmas break, and this year we are extending the same advice to offices where all or a majority of staff are working from home.

This has been a hard year for many businesses and the last thing anyone wants to have to deal with is theft or vandalism on their premises. Investing in flood lights, security guards, CCTV, mobile patrols, alarm response or any combination of the above over winter can protect your business and give you peace of mind during these dark months.

How we can help

At Magenta Security, we offer flexible, scalable security packages that can offer short term protection to mitigate seasonal risks. These can be for just the winter or scaled up and down throughout the year as the risk level changes.

There is no one-size-fits-all security solution. Do not assume that your usual security measures will be able to cope with the increased risk of crime this unique winter. Reassess your security, boost your defences and make it through the year with no last minute surprises.

To find out how Magenta can help protect your business over the winter months call 0800 772 3786 today.

Magenta Security provide award winning security services throughout the UK. We are in the top 5% of ACS approved contractors and were the first security company in Europe to be awarded ISO 14001 for our environmental management systems.

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