Halloween will see a surge in crime affecting businesses. Have a look at our security tips on how to prevent crime at Halloween.
What happens in the run-up to Halloween
Each year Netwatch see a 40% to 50% increase in criminal activity on business’s during Halloween week and expect that figure to rise this year. David Walsh, Group CEO of Netwatch said, “Halloween is great fun for kids, but it can be an extremely expensive time for business owners. Every year we see a surge in crime around business premises by youths looking for bonfire materials. Everything not nailed down is seen as fair game, from tyres and pallets to more expensive building materials and even oil theft. Warehouses, construction sites, yards and unoccupied premises are particularly vulnerable.”
While the majority of incidents are minor, there are often serious incidents each Halloween which result in severe damage to businesses. We are urging all business owners to review their safety provision and ensure that all loose materials are secured over the bank holiday weekend and during the week. A well-lit, locked and secured area with no visible targets will deter most Halloween criminals.
Crime statistics from Halloween 2016
According to our latest crime statistics report, the last week in October will be one of the busiest weeks of the year. Here is what happened in October 2016:
- Intruders targeted Warehousing and Logistic sectors, particularly between the hours of 9 pm and 12 am.
- The two days leading up to Halloween were particularly busy times for intruders, with 20% more incidents occurring in these days.
- Suspicious activity increased by 25% in October 2016.
- The majority of attempted security breaches occurred between 6 pm and 9 pm (22%).
- Fire-related incidents increased by 14%.
With youths looking for bonfire materials and criminals targeting business during the bank holiday, it will be another busy Halloween for our Communications Hubs.
Netwatch security tips for Halloween
- Keep the perimeter well lit: Falls are the huge cause of injury on Halloween. Keeping lights on overnight will prevent accidents and deter vandals. Installing motion sensor floodlights will accomplish the same goals while conserving energy.
- Limit access to the property: Unless the business that is staying open and passing out treats, keep all entryways locked and be certain to secure windows. Control who holds keys.
- Review your current security plan: Test alarms regularly and review your entire security system at least once a year. Your system may not be as effective and efficient as newer systems currently on the market.
- Train employees to watch for unusual behaviour: Criminals tend to lurk or investigate an area before committing a crime. Teach your employees to watch out for suspicious behaviour and have a proactive plan to deal with these individuals.
- Celebrate safely: If your business is hosting a Halloween party, ensure that your fire protection system is effective and operating properly. Costumes and alcohol consumption can lead to an increase of fire hazards. Be certain that fire escapes are clearly marked, fire extinguishers are in the proper places, and do not hang any decorations from ceiling smoke detectors or sprinklers. When in doubt, contact your local fire station to request a review of your property.
A typical scene in late October as youths attempt to access a site which contained pallets and other building materials. In this case, Gardaí were called and the youths subsequently fled the scene.
Advice from Netwatch CEO David Walsh
“Unfortunately, pranks go hand in hand with Halloween, but by thinking defensively, business owners can quell potentially serious and expensive acts of vandalism,” said David Walsh, Netwatch CEO. “Revellers must choose between fun and engaging in the malicious behaviour. By taking some simple steps to prevent vandalism and using extra caution, we can ensure that everyone remains safe during these times of celebration.”
For more information about securing your premises, contact Netwatch today.
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