Criminal patterns change in the weeks surrounding Christmas. We have looked at criminal patterns and types of crime from Christmas 2016, to bring you our tips to secure your business over the Christmas period.
Typical crime trends at Christmas
The week running up to Christmas – Many criminals are targeting retail business and warehouses. Criminals attempt to target these business during their busiest period for a Christmas haul of cash and valuable stock on site. In the week leading up to Christmas Day 2016, Netwatch recorded a 33% increase in attempted security breaches, with a third of all activity taking place between the hours of 6pm and 12am. Criminals are mainly targeting retail business and warehouses during the week leading up to Christmas, as they aim for a haul of cash and valuable stock on site.
Christmas Eve – Intervention specialists often observe mum or dad heading back to work on Christmas Eve to collect Christmas gifts. We don’t like giving audio warnings to busy parents so just give us a call before you go on site.
Christmas Day – One nice thing is that it seems even criminals like to take a break on Christmas day. The level of malicious security breaches is generally not that high. There is the issue of the general public out and about though, going for walks, testing out new bikes or drones. This activity can end up causing alarms on some client sites, but our Intervention Specialists are trained to verify potential threats.
Tips to secure your business at Christmas
- Update your security system arming protocol to accommodate coming or goings over Christmas. Your business security system should be fully armed for the week you are not there. This avoids unnecessary alarms and phone calls by your security monitoring company following up on unauthorised activity.
- Check that Christmas lights and decorations are not obscuring their view of your CCTV cameras. Lights may not directly obscure a lens but can cause an added glare and prevent the camera from effectively focusing on an area, resulting in blurry footage.
- Are your staff or keyholders away for Christmas? Our Intervention Specialists sometimes have a harder time reaching keyholders over the Christmas period. Understandably everyone is on holidays and trying to switch off, but there does need to be someone available in the case of a security incident.
- Avoid lone workers on Christmas Eve. Don’t get left behind to lock up on your own. Criminals may target vulnerable employees at the close of business to gain access to large sums of cash.
Crime statistics for Christmas 2016
- Criminals did not take a break in the run up to Christmas 2016, with a 33% in attempted security breaches occurring in the week leading up to Christmas particularly targeting Warehousing and Retail
- St Stephens Day and New Year’s Eve last year proved to be prime target days. It is assumed that many businesses are vacant on these days, and opportunistic criminals will attempt to capitalise on this.
- Warehousing and logistics contained the largest number of attempted burglary and suspicious activity on St Stephens day.
- 33% of activity in the week surrounding Christmas happened in the evening between 6PM and 12AM.
Christmas in the Netwatch Communications Hubs
The Netwatch Communications Hub is 24/7/365. Christmas day is no exception. Staffing levels in our Hubs are increased to with to deal with increased activity in the week leading up to Christmas but we try to make it a bit special as it is hard for people not to spend time with their families on this day. Our staff are watching over our client’s premises, to ensure they can switch off and enjoy the holiday. The Hub has secret Santa, plenty of sweets, Christmas jumpers and some Intervention Specialists bring in their own Christmas dinner, they don’t want to miss out! The staffing levels are also increased in the Communications Hubs to with increased activity in the weak leading up to Christmas.
David Walsh’s advice for businesses at Christmas
“We regularly see lax security arrangements over bank holiday weekends and other holiday celebrations, making it all too easy for thieves. In all our years protecting businesses, Christmas is always one of the busiest times of the year. We expect this year to be no different. With many businesses closing down completely for the festive season, properties become particularly vulnerable with the lack of activity and presence. Opportunist thieves don’t care whether it is Christmas or not, if they think they can break in successfully and get away with valuables they will do it.”