Crime Prevention for Businesses
Crime Prevention is a critical part of policing, and there are many things that businesses can do to help prevent crime within their establishment.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Be proactive – not responsive – by designing your business environment to reduce your risk of being a victim. Using CPTED principles at your business (ensuring doors and windows are unobstructed and the exterior of the building is well-lit) will help keep your business from becoming the target of criminals.
The Barrie Police Service also urges business owners to invest in video surveillance and alarm systems, and keep them well-maintained. Quality images help police identify suspects, can lead to arrests and have a tremendous impact during investigations and court proceedings.
Securing Commercial Buildings - Outdoor Security
- Invest in video surveillance equipment and alarm systems and keep them well-maintained and working.
- Ensure plants, trees or shrubs near doors or windows do not interfere with lighting and are less than three feet high to ensure criminals cannot hide in them.
- Ensure the building’s address is clearly marked and visible from the street.
- Install security film on windows and glass doors.
- Ensure doors are good quality and install high-security deadbolt locks.
- Install a latch guard and security hinges.
- Install glass break and motion detection sensors.
- Remove any loose bricks, rocks or other heavy items that could be used to break into your business.
- Install perimeter fencing with a gate, if possible.
- Ensure employees have a clear and well-lit path from the sidewalk and parking lot to the business.
- Mount signs indicating you have 24-hour security and an alarm system.
- Report suspicious vehicles or people.
- Ensure your building is well-lit.
Securing Commercial Buildings – Indoor Security
- Ensure all doors and windows are locked and secured.
- Ensure that you have set your alarm prior to leaving.
- Ensure you have all offices and hallways covered by a motion sensor.
- Have glass-break sensors installed at potential entry points.
- Have security film installed on all ground level windows.
- Ensure that all exterior glass windows are caulked into the frame to prevent easy window removal.
- Consider having office doors open outwards to make them difficult to kick in.
- Consider installing a safe for company valuables and bolt the safe to the floor so it cannot be removed.
- Install video surveillance, ensuring cameras are focused on cash registers, entrances and exits.
- Be alert. Greet and make eye contact with each customer as they enter the business.
- Be active. Walk around your business frequently so criminals are aware that you’re attentive.
- Ensure windows aren’t covered by signs or merchandise and that people can see inside from the street.
- Do not keep large amounts of cash inside the building. Use night deposit boxes and vary the times you use them.
Key Holder Registry
The Barrie Police Service has created a key holder registry to allow police to quickly access contact information for key holders for your business.
The information provided allows police to contact you or your nominated key holders in the event of an incident occurring on your property or if your alarm is causing a noise nuisance.
The police have a responsibility to act on noise nuisance and property owners could potentially incur costs from forced entry if they are unable to contact a key holder.
Businesses are encouraged to fill out the key holder registry form, and keep the information updated. Visit our Key Holder Registry page for more information and to register for the program.
- Greet and make eye contact with every customer.
- Ensure that you can see every area of your business clearly.
- Watch for customers carrying large packages or purses or wearing bulky or unseasonable clothing.
- Only show one item of value to the customer at a time.
- Look out for empty hangers on clothing racks.
- Arrange store displays so missing items are obvious. Where possible, fasten display items to the display or show model products.
- Mount signs indicating that it is the policy of your business to prosecute shoplifters.
- Train your staff to quickly recognize signs of shoplifting.
- If you suspect a shoplifter call security or the police.
Identifying Internal Theft
- Merchandise theft: merchandise is stolen from the store.
- Cash theft: cash is stolen directly from the register.
- Free-bagging theft: a cashier bags merchandise but fails to charge the customer.
- Under-ringing theft: unauthorized marking-down of merchandise.
- Aiding shoplifters: failing to report shoplifting or actively assisting shoplifters.
- Refund theft: creating a false refund receipt and taking the cash.
- Employee discount: offering the employee’s discount to friends or family.
Preventing Internal Theft
- Ensure you do frequent and thorough inventory audits, sometimes randomly and unexpected by employees.
- Ensure your accounting system has appropriate checks and balances involving more than one employee.
- Watch for unexplained stock shortages.
- Require all applicants to fill out a detailed application and check references thoroughly.
- Watch for employees who are uncomfortable or defensive answering questions about crime prevention.
- See if business patterns change when a certain employee is absent.
- Check trash bins for evidence of theft.
Identifying Counterfeit Currency
- Use the TiLL method of checking for counterfeit bills.
- Touch the bill. Banknote paper has a unique feel with raised ink on the front of the bill.
- Tilt the bill. Watch for the changing colours of the numbers and the two-toned maple leaves in the metallic stripe.
- Look through the bill. Hold the bill up to the light and look for the ghost image and puzzle number near the middle.
- Look at the bill. You need to look carefully to make sure it appears and works as it should when you tilt or look through the note.
- Resource: Bank of Canada – Counterfeit Protection
In Case of Robbery
- If you are the victim of a robbery, do not fight back.
- Co-operate and do as instructed.
- Be the best witness possible by remembering what the suspect looked like and what the suspect was wearing.
- Try to determine if the suspect leaves on foot or by vehicle.
- If the suspect leaves in a vehicle take note of the licence plate number, the make, model and colour of the car.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately.