Business Crime Stats – A Look Back at 2019
Crime trends and patterns from the year gone by
Throughout 2019, we gathered crime data from our communication hubs to uncover trends and patterns to help Irish businesses safeguard themselves against crime.
23 January 2020
The information in this article can be useful to businesses to help keep their staff, premises and stock safe from crime. Every month Netwatch monitors crime trends and statistics using anonymous data gathered through our CCTV monitoring service. This data includes industries with the highest crime rates, busiest times of day, busiest days of the week and several other data points. Read on so you can apply this information to your own security protocol.
Most Active Hours for Criminals
It may surprise you to learn that the hours between 6pm and midnight accounted for 42% of attempted perimeter breaches by thieves and vandals. Business owners sometimes assume midnight to 6am would be the busiest time of day.
It is a common misconception that criminals use the cover of darkness and a sleeping population to steal stock and materials. Month-to-month and week-to-week, the hours between 6pm and midnight are consistently busier than any other time for our team of Intervention Specialists. Intervention Specialists are highly trained members of the Netwatch team who respond to alerts within seconds, notifying the owners and Gardaí if required.
While 6pm to midnight is certainly busy for criminals, the restful hours between midnight and 6am was the second busiest, with 25% of attempted perimeter breaches throughout 2019. The busiest hours during this period were midnight to 2am.
Sectors with Most Attempted Breaches
Of the many business types secured by the Netwatch System, criminals targeted warehouses and factories more than any other sector. These businesses accounted for 19% of all prevented crime in 2019.
The utility industry was a close second at 14%. Thieves are attracted to substations and similar sites because of the valuable copper found within. This will present a financial loss to the business, but the risk of injury is an even bigger concern, given the inherent dangers of utility sites. Netwatch has an advantage over other forms of security because it protects from the site’s perimeter, stopping criminals as they attempt to access the site.
The next most targeted business sector in 2019 was construction. During construction, building sites contain an array of valuable materials, tools and machinery which are easily resold and rarely linked to the perpetrators. Building sites accounted for 10% of all attempted breaches in 2019. Many construction sites utilise the Netwatch Commander Unit because it can be fully operational at short notice, and can work without any existing power supply or internet connection.
Busiest Days of the Week
Throughout the year, weekends are by far the busiest days for our Intervention Specialists. In 2019, Saturday and Sunday accounted for 37% of all prevented crimes. The weekends represent an opportunity for thieves because many businesses operate Monday to Friday. Criminals see this quiet window as an opportunity to steal stock, materials or vandalise.
The busiest weekday for would-be thieves was Friday, closely followed by Thursday. On the other side of the scale are Mondays. After a busy weekend, thieves seem to take a break for the first half of the week. Mondays being the quietest days closely followed by Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Data analysis reveals a clear pattern of activity throughout the year with criminals ramping up their efforts on Thursday, and attempted crime continuing to rise through to Saturday and Sunday. Then things slow a little on Mondays and Tuesdays before the cycle starts again.
Months with the Most Crime
Looking at monthly crime data it becomes clear that spring and summer are the busiest seasons for attempted crime. It seems daffodils are not the only things poking their heads up this time of year, the start of spring was the busiest time for attempted perimeter breaches in 2019. The top three months for activity were as follows:
St. Patrick’s Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for crime prevention along with Halloween. The long weekend saw a dramatic
increase in activity, with warehouses and office buildings being targeted most often. Criminals try their luck fully aware that many buildings will be vacant or down to skeleton staff during the St. Patrick’s celebrations.
In 2019, May was the second busiest month for attempted perimeter breaches. However, this time criminals turned their attention to construction sites. The summer months are generally more productive for the construction sector and this attracts the attention of criminals who want to help themselves to expensive building materials, tools and machinery.
- The busiest time of day for attempted security breaches are 6pm through to midnight
- The busiest days of the week are Saturday and Sunday
- The busiest months occur in the spring and summer
- Warehouses and factories were most targeted throughout 2019, closely followed by the utility sector and construction.