Business owners advised to be vigilant

Crime stats show the continued need for vigilance and proper preparation as business owners.

BUSINESS owners across the country should view the recent police crime statistics as a reminder of the continuing need for vigilance, advises a local security company.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) announced in September that commercial crime increased by more than 14 per cent in a year, with 83 823 cases reported. These crimes included fraud, embezzlement, corruption, forgery, money laundering and certain cybercrimes. “It does seem that business-related crimes involving physical force declined for the year being reported on by the police, but that does not mean that business owners can now relax and drop their guard,” said Vaughan Pillay, KwaZulu-Natal district manager at Fidelity ADT.

He said there was a continuing need for preventative measures to deter any criminal activity.

“I would suggest you start by looking at a daily schedule of events at your business, to determine any periods at which you are particularly vulnerable. This could be for example when new stock is delivered, when your cashiers are cashing up for the day, or when your shop is particularly busy. Business owners need to consider whether they are adequately protected for these periods,” said Pillay.

Perimeter security measures are also a valuable and important area to focus on, he added.

“We have responded to a number of incidents already where culprits gained access to shops and businesses by lifting roof tiles and entering through the ceiling. You should also make sure that all access points are controlled and monitored, so that your security company can immediately respond if anyone tries to rob you after you have closed up for the day.”

He said smaller business owners could also combine their resources and find ways to cooperate with each other to increase safety.

“Perhaps you can get together and install a CCTV system that looks after the small shops in your suburb.”