When it comes to vehicle theft and burglaries, many may be under the impression these crimes commonly take place during the night and although that’s not far from the truth, the big secret is these types of burglaries and thefts also happen quite regularly during the day – specifically when we’re at work and out of the house.
You would then expect to see vehicle and home thefts decrease due to more people having to to work remotely from home, because of the pandemic. So how would you feel to learn that the majority of burglaries occur when we’re at home.
This could also become a concern for businesses and business parks which in some cases are now essentially left unattended as employees continue to work from home. Commercial car parks are therefore left in a vulnerable situation for thieves to take advantage whilst there are less people around.
With hindsight, it’s probably unsurprising that the increase in remote working has left vehicle thieves undeterred and with vehicle crimes on the rise, especially in 2018/2019 there are a few precautions you, your employees and business can learn in order to keep your vehicles secure.
To explain further, Lucinda Thorpe, Business Development Executive at Newgate shares why businesses shouldn’t become complacent when it comes to business security in a remote working world.
Remote working means an increase in home deliveries
If your company offers home deliveries or in-home services, then the chances are that you’ve experienced unprecedented growth in demand for them. That means your company vehicles are out and about on the road more. It also means they will be parked unattended more often.
Even if your business depends on fast turnover, you need to teach your employees about safe parking (or remind them of it). Then you need to make it clear that you expect them to adhere to these principles and will support them in doing so. If you use motorbikes/moped then it would be a good idea to fit them with immobilizers.
Remote working means fewer employees on site
This in itself is stating the obvious. Its implications, however, may be less obvious. Fewer employees on-site means fewer pairs of eyes watching the cars in the car park. Even though employees will, generally, be looking at their screens rather than the car park, they could happen to glance in its direction at any time and thieves know it.
Take people off-site, however, and thieves have much less risk. There are two measures you can use to deter them. The first is proper barriers and the second is CCTV. These days, it’s preferable to use gates if possible. This is because thieves now attack vehicles for parts rather than just for resale as a whole (or for use in crime).
That said, if there is limited space and/or budget, then swing-arm barriers and/or rising bollards could be very reasonable alternatives. They won’t deter people on foot (or bicycles so easily), but there is a limit to how much you can carry on foot or on a bicycle. If you supplement these with CCTV (and appropriate lighting), you’ll have a strong deterrent.
The limitations of CCTV on its own
In the real world, CCTV is likely to be of very little use in identifying people. Everyone knows about it now, plus you need to ensure that people are informed that their image is being captured. This means that any thief with common sense will just cover their face. Even if you do get lucky and get a clear image, the police still need to trace the person.
The real value of CCTV, therefore, is that it facilitates remote monitoring. Remote monitoring allows security guards to keep an eye on a large area from one central location. If they see anything suspicious, they go and investigate and can be assisted, if necessary, by people who have access to the CCTV images.
Effective barriers help to slow down criminals so the security guards (or police) have a better chance of reaching the area while the intruders are still there. Of course, criminals know this too, so they are less likely to target the area in the first place.