All categories, with the exception of aggravated assaults, were up from 2000 reporting. Aggravated assaults were only down 0.5 percent. That all adds up to a crime every 2.7 seconds.
That’s not to mention problems created by terrorism, arson, fraud, white collar crime, kidnapping, hostage taking, bomb threats, computer crime, drugs, disasters, espionage and shoplifting. Just look at the recent and ongoing cases of shootings and workplace violence. Thus, the need for both business and residential security becomes crystal clear.
Fortunately, many measures can be taken to improve security at little or no charge. Free literature on how to protect your neighborhood, commercial security, campus safety and many other topics is available from many local or Internet sources.
Preventing burglary and robbery loss also involves having good information on locks, alarms, lighting, safes, high-risk locations, training to reduce risk, cash procedures, business opening and closing routines, convenience store training, and the safety of employees.
Violence in the community affects businesses and individuals. Employee willingness to work non-standard hours and a changing demography of the work force has added to work and travel risk. Fundamentally, there is only one cause of loss: inadequate protection of assets.
Businesses can call on experienced security consultants, in addition to in-house resources and public crime prevention opportunities. Independent consultants are not a threat to security managers and are vital to top officials who operate their business without benefit of a security department or solely a contract guard vendor. Security awareness is paramount for a business to operate at optimum levels.
The best approach to improving security appears to be a proactive approach that replaces the fear of the unknown with a working knowledge of given situations. Don’t be a firefighter. Have a plan to deal with security issues.
I suggest replacing the fear of the unknown with the known by conducting a physical security survey of a business location(s). A written property assessment document conditions and makes recommendations that can help improve overall security and safety in areas of the property to include fences and locks, obscure openings, lighting, utilities, and parking. The facility is checked for equipment, tool rooms, locker rooms, cafeteria, shipping and receiving, emergency systems and doors and keys.
Throughout the inspection the survey team will talk with employees and security officers and monitor job activities. The physical security of the computer room and the protection of information stored in the computer database is also addressed. Intercom systems as well as emergency control plans are reviewed as part of a company’s overall communication system.
Particular attention should be devoted to the level of protection for sensitive information, including employee records, medical information, customer lists, and pricing.
Jay B. Crawford has provided problem-solving consulting services for both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies for more than 30 years. He was named a Lifetime Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in January 2002, and has authored several articles on security related matters. He can be reached at www.jbcconsultant.com.