Any crime will have an impact on the victim.
Often large commercial or industrial areas will be a particular magnet for both organised and opportunistic criminals. As we know, crimes can also be initiated from within the businesses themselves eg. Crimes of fraud and theft can increase during the run up and post-Christmas when there is more demand or stress on the individual or the household income.
Businesses need to be aware as they approach this Christmas close down period and ensure that they are taking every precaution to secure their business and their assets.
With escalating challenges in the current commercial environment, eg. Increasing operational costs, restrictive cash flows, slow growth, uncertainty for the future (Brexit), increased competition & competitiveness, supply chain inconsistency and resilience, technology, skills gap, government regulation “red tape”, when you add criminal activity into the mix it only exacerbates the pressure and the cost to the business.
So what types of crime do industrial estates face?
During the last 12 months we have received Knowsley Business Watch reports that highlight examples of burglary, robbery, theft, fraud, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, cultivation and supply of drugs, cybercrime, to name a few. Some other types of crime that may be more remote but are still exist include acts of terrorism, bribery and serious organised crime.
Whilst most industrial estates and business parks have Police and/or business partnerships to share information in order to combat local crime, it is essential that businesses take their own steps to reduce their risk of being targeted by criminals.
It is well know that if individual businesses work more collectively and collaboratively to improve their own security, in turn this deters criminal behaviour and moves the criminal activity to a different area.
The existing partnerships seen on the Knowsley Industrial Park and Business Park provide a good example and base to consolidate intelligence, provide mutual support on a number of different levels and even funding crime prevention schemes .
Whilst these schemes can protect you from opportunistic criminals, businesses should work a little smarter to deal with more targeted approaches, for example Cybercrime. We know that this type of criminality can be devastating to a business, especially where its reliance on computers or computer-based technologies to deliver its products or services is compromised.
Again, we have very recent examples where local businesses are being targeted by cyber criminals. Small to medium size businesses are being targeted not just to facilitate crime against them, but also as a route into larger organisations.
Unfortunately, small businesses are often targeted as they may not be able to invest in robust cyber protection mechanisms, to ensure that all staff are training, or have the ability to proactively detect and deter potential threats.
The National Cyber Security Centre has identified an increase in crimes related to Chief Executive / business email compromise and security vulnerability exploitation, whether that be for financial gain (ransomware) or data extraction (industrial espionage, business interruption or reputation damage).
Whatever the outcome the effect and impact can be devastating to the business, the clients and their reputation.
Business need to be aware of legislation such as the GDPR. All staff must understand the implications of GDPR and the financial sanctions that can be imposed for non-compliance of handling personal data.
How do you deal with threats to your business?
Start to look at your business from a number of different areas (this list is non-exhaustive):-
- Data and cyber security
Unfortunately, many business owners see spending money on security as unwanted or unnecessary expenditure, but this is not always the case. Businesses can take a holistic view of security and its management, and it’s not simply fences, gates, CCTV and alarms. Businesses must consider their policies and processes, the customer base, third party contracts (eg. Those that supply your business), the staff training, integration of security systems, having a robust IT infrastructure and a resilient supply chain.
So it’s not just about technology. A good starting point are the internal and external business processes adopted and used by your staff, suppliers and clients. This approach will greatly reduce the risk of opportunistic criminals and minimise the risk of targeted criminality.
A known fact that effective security expenditure can enable a business to grow and expand by winning new business, ie. You are demonstrating your security credentials and compliance as part of the supply chain. A business with robust security measures in place means that you are taking responsibility for looking after your own assets you providing a secure environment for your client’s assets.
In the commercial world where margins are smaller, competition fiercer, and clients are more diligent within supply chains, businesses need to be more proactive. It is not simply about the best products or services, but the whole business proposition.
- Take a breath and stand back.
- Take an honest perspective of your business and the risks it faces.
- Think outside of the box.
- Think about how security and organisational resilience can benefit your business.
Some basic advice for businesses
- Understand the risks and threats
- Have a security management plan, policies and processes
- Staff training (situational awareness, cyber security, data protection, physical security processes)
- Audit program (stock checks, staff search, fuel checks, key audits)
- Suspicious activity & incident reporting (internally & externally)
- Police & Business Partnerships
- Security systems investment (quality equipment and focused use)
NexusProtect is a Knowsley based business that works with organisations to identify their risks and identify effective solutions that then protect and enhance those involved. NexusProtect can review all your business processes to identify vulnerabilities whether that be physical, people, information or digital.
Nick Holden leads a team of experienced individuals who have come from a range of specialist security, military and police backgrounds. The team has a track record of operating within multinational organisations, from the shop floor to the boardroom.
In addition to their respected specialisms the team also have a wealth of operational and strategic business management expertise which enhance the services it provides businesses.
Why not have a free chat and a coffee with a member of the team at email@example.com
To find out more about the Knowsley Business Watch Click Here