Over the coming weeks it is possible that your shop/place of business will be closed for a prolonged period. With this in mind, we’d like to offer some advice & guidance to minimise any loss through acquisitive crime.

These principles can assist you in reducing the opportunity for crime to occur; it’s not a case of having to use all of the 10 Principles at once, you may find using just one of them could help you or it may be a combination of several of them.

When you are looking at using the principles of crime prevention to improve security around your business, the best way to approach it is to look at your home or premises as if you were the offender. Identify the weak spots, vulnerable areas and concealment points and prioritise the areas for improvement.

The 10 Principles of Crime Prevention are:

1.Target Hardening – Making your property harder for an offender to access • Upgrading the locks on your doors, windows, sheds and outbuildings. Use a professional locksmith who is a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) • Always set the intruder alarm. If you don’t have one think about installing one. Use a professional installer who is a member of the National Security Inspectorate or the Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board • Using secure passwords to prevent criminals hacking your online accounts • Use Anti-Climb measures such as anti-vandal paint to make it more difficult for intruders to enter the grounds or your premises

2. Target Removal – Ensuring that a potential target is out of view. • Not leaving items on view through your windows – i.e. laptops, phones, keys, bags • Moving valuable items from a window display • Removing all cash from the premises

3. Reducing the Means – Removing items that may help commit an offence. • Not leaving tools and ladders available for criminals to use • Keeping wheelie bins out of reach, as they may be a climbing aid or help transport items • Making sure that bricks and rubble are cleared up

4. Reducing the Payoff – Reducing the profit the criminal can make from the offence. • Security marking your property • Marking your property in such a way that others will not want to buy from the thief • Not buying property you believe or suspect to be stolen

5. Access Control – Looking at measures that will control access to a location • Locking your doors and windows to both your buildings and any vehicles • Ensuring that gates, fencing, hedges, walls and other boundary treatments are in a good state of repair • Putting a security system in place at a commercial site (entry barriers, electronic fob access, ID cards etc)

6. Surveillance – Improving surveillance around businesses to deter criminals • Removing high hedges / fences at the front that allows an offender to work unseen • Consider adding CCTV to a commercial site or public place • Install good lighting around the building and in any parking area. Eliminating hiding spots is a good way to prevent anyone from sneaking around the area

7. Environmental Change – Ensuring your property and wider community looks cared for • Ensuring that graffiti and domestic/commercial waste is cleared up • Reporting issues with fly-tipping or broken street lights to the relevant authority

8. Rule Setting – Changing habits by setting rules and positioning signage in appropriate locations • Introducing a rule that the last person entering / leaving should lock the door and remove the keys • Informing visitors to commercial sites that they must report to reception on arrival • Informing users that a particular site is closed between certain times and should not be accessed

9. Increase the Chances of Being Caught – Increasing the likelihood that an offender will be caught to prevent crime occurring • Making use of dusk to dawn security lighting is in place and in working order • Using good quality CCTV and/or alarm systems, especially on commercial sites and public places • Upgrading security to delay an offender, meaning they have to spend more time to gain access

10. Deflecting Offenders – Deterring an offender or deflecting their intention • Using timer switches to make buildings look occupied if vacant after the hours of darkness • Running youth diversionary schemes with partner agencies • Referring offenders to drug rehabilitation programmes If the building is likely to remain unoccupied it will be worth checking the terms & conditions of your insurance policy. We would advise that you make frequent checks on your business premises whilst adhering to the Government guidance on social distancing. Additional Advice & Guidance from North Wales Police: https://www.north-wales.police.uk/advice-and-support/stay-safe/covid-19