Across Yorkshire, we protect businesses from theft. But what specific thefts are we helping to prevent? Here are five of the most frequently stolen items from commercial businesses in Yorkshire, with tips for minimising risk within your organisation.
According to insurer Direct Line, tools are stolen from a tradesperson’s vehicle every 20 minutes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Yorkshire is an unwelcome third in the league table of areas with the most thefts. And that figure doesn’t include tools stolen from construction sites and works depots.
Insurance is an essential tool (no pun intended) in terms of damage limitation but is inevitably only ever of use after a theft has already taken place. It’s important, therefore, to ensure vans are as secure as possible. Depots should have some level of security in place, with CCTV as a bare minimum and preferably an alarm response service in place. Construction sites, by their nature, change and evolve and here manned guarding or mobile patrols can provide deterrence not just from theft, but also from arson and vandalism.
Laptops and mobile phones are easy to steal and easy to trade, which makes them an extremely attractive target for criminals. According to this report, one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, while 4.3% of all company-issued smartphones are lost or stolen every year.
The cost of the device is an immediate, obvious effect but the report suggests that 80% of the cost of device thefts lies in data breaches. As we’ve seen from breaches at major UK companies over the past few years, the damage is reputational as well as financial.
Protecting laptops and phones isn’t easy – they’re always on the move. But when in the office overnight they should be locked away. When out and about staff should be advised to never leave them unattended. And every device should be securely protected to limit access to data should a theft occur.
An obvious and easy target for theft, but one which can be made far more difficult by limiting the number of people who access and handle cash within your business and installing CCTV at tills.
According to research by WhatCar? and as reported by the RAC, 30 vans are stolen every day across the UK. You may find this surprising. After all, most vans are fitted with immobilisers, remote locking and deadlocks which makes it far more difficult to steal them. Yet the research shows that only 42% of new vans are fitted with an alarm as standard.
For businesses wanting to reduce the chances of theft, installing alarms is an obvious first step, as is installing trackers and in-van cameras, which may not help prevent theft but should assist in recovery. For vehicles kept on-site overnight, CCTV can help, although high-sided vans present lots of blind spots. Far better to put physical barriers in place, from bollards and perimeter fencing to manned patrols, security gates and manned guarding.
Precious metals and building materials
Always ‘popular’ with criminals, the past year has seen precious metals and building materials increasing in value and this has prompted a knock-on effect in thefts. According to the Yorkshire Post, three of Yorkshire’s four police have seen a rise in thefts of catalytic converters because of the precious metals they contain. It’s a similar story with copper cable thefts.
Installing some form of security is essential to deter thieves. As with tools and vehicles – and depending on the specific premises – alarm response, patrols or manned guarding may be appropriate.