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Home>Security Matters>Security Matters>VPS warns company bosses over surge in break-ins during lockdown period

VPS warns company bosses over surge in break-ins during lockdown period

28 April 2020

POLICE FORCES right across the UK are necessarily hav­ing to conduct extra night-time patrols in emp­ty city and town cen­tres as bur­glars actively tar­get shops, pubs and oth­er com­mer­cial premis­es dur­ing the Coro­n­avirus lockdown.

Col­lat­ing intel­li­gence data from police reports, news items and, indeed, the business' own feed­back from customers, prop­er­ty secu­ri­ty spe­cial­ist VPS UK has witnessed a sud­den rise in bur­glar­ies and attempt­ed thefts in Man­ches­ter, Mersey­side, Gwent and Cleveland. 

“It’s no sur­prise that, when whole city cen­tres are desert­ed, oppor­tunis­tic thieves will take their chances, and espe­cial­ly so when there's an already stretched police ser­vice,” explained David Wormald, key account direc­tor for hos­pi­tal­i­ty and retail at VPS. ​“As so many peo­ple are stay­ing at home now on Government advice, there’s even few­er chances that an attempt­ed bur­glary on a com­mer­cial site will be spot­ted and reported.”

Recently, and as reported by Security Matters, the British Secu­ri­ty Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion con­firmed that the cur­rent def­i­n­i­tion of key and crit­i­cal work­ers now includes reg­u­lat­ed and licensed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als. Those roles essen­tial to sup­port­ing law and order, and with the poten­tial to reduce demand on polic­ing, meet the crit­i­cal work­er def­i­n­i­tion. This includes the security guard­ing and CCTV mon­i­tor­ing of emp­ty or closed com­mer­cial, retail or office premis­es, as well as the pro­vi­sion of Alarm Response Cen­tres includ­ing mobile units.

“The secu­ri­ty indus­try also has to pri­or­i­tise care for its work­ers dur­ing the COVID-19 cri­sis,” continued Wormald. “Inevitably, we will have some oper­a­tional strains if more staff are required to self-iso­late, but we're more for­tu­nate than oth­ers in being able to deploy both security officers and/​or CCTV. The lat­ter is a safe and social­ly dis­tant means of checking in on premis­es via a remote video mon­i­tor­ing operation. Vul­ner­a­ble premis­es like con­struc­tion sites, which con­tain valu­able plant and equip­ment, are now stand­ing emp­ty so they need to be kept secure.”

Wormald concluded: “No two sites are ever the same. In terms of the crime figures issued by the Office for National Statistics, it's always worth check­ing to see if one area has wit­nessed a greater rise in crim­i­nal activ­i­ty on com­mer­cial premis­es than anoth­er. That would be one indi­ca­tion of greater vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty for shops and pubs, for exam­ple, and may high­light where addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty mea­sures might be necessary.”