Business Vandalism in Australia

For most small businesses, vandalism is an ever present threat. In some locations having your business premises vandalised is a regular day-to-day or week-to-week reality, in other places it might be a rare one-off occurrence, but it’s still a cost worth minimising.

Mindless vandalism can be a significant cost to small business owners.

Mindless vandalism can be a significant cost to small business owners.

So as a business owner, what steps can you take to reduce the chances of your premises being a target for vandalism?

The types of vandalism that small businesses face can range from mildly annoying through to seriously expensive to repair. Tagging and other graffiti vandalism, scratched window glass, broken windows and other physical damage to premises are all things that small business owners might have to contend with.

Vandals scratching windows can be a big cost to small businesses.

Vandals scratching windows can be a big cost to small businesses.

The cost of vandalism isn’t just limited to removing or repairing the damage either. Staff time, lost business and damage to your brand are all other potential hits to your bottom line.

It’s not like you can ignore minor vandalism like tagging either. We’ve all seen shops and buildings were leaving a small amounts of graffiti on walls has acted like an invitation to other vandals and suddenly it’s a major problem.

A lot of graffiti can make an area look very run down.

Graffiti can make an area look very run down.

There are a number of things that you can consider to minimise the chances of your business being targeted by vandals, and mitigate the impact of vandalism if it does happen.

Change the environment

In areas where people are likely to be after-hours, footpaths, lane ways, car parks etc. make sure you have adequate lighting. Vandals of all descriptions are less likely to want to hang around in areas where they are easy to see, and good lighting is a great first line of defence.

In areas where the public shouldn’t be, loading bays, back yards storage areas and the like, you need to combine good fencing with good lighting.

If your business is in an areas with tagging or graffiti problems, you should consider graffiti proof coatings for the walls or windows of you business. Although not cheap, the reduced costs of cleaning and repainting can rapidly make the initial costs seem small.

Train up your staff

Having a simple but regular procedure for opening and closing your premises makes it easy for your staff to remember everything that needs doing. Locking doors, closing gates, arming alarms, if anything gets forgotten, the added risks to your business can be significant.

Get some help

If your business is in an area that also has residents living in it, or other business that operate out of hours, it can be well worth getting to know your neighbours. Having people keeping an eye on your premises can mean that vandals get seen before they get a chance to get started.

Very little graffiti adds to the appeal of a building and the businesses in them.

Very little graffiti adds to the appeal of a building and the businesses in them.

Check to see if there is an organised group for keeping an eye on businesses in your area. In some areas there is a business equivalent to the residential neighbourhood watch scheme.

If all the other businesses around you are closed outside business hours too, then a good, but expensive option is signing up with a security firm to have your premises checked periodically through the night.

Report Vandalism

Despite many people saying that the Police rarely respond to reports of vandalism, if you don’t report it then the police don’t know it’s a problem, and it can cause issues if you then go on to claim insurance for any damage or costs.

If you are going to report vandalism, then having video footage of the vandalism and the people responsible can be a great help to the police.

Install a camera security system

Unlike old fashioned monitored alarm where you knew something had happened at your premises, but didn’t know what, or if it was a false alarm, new generation alarm system like CleverLoop pair indoor and outdoor cameras with video analysis software and clever learning algorithms, and give you full control from your smartphone.

The real bonus when it comes to  dealing with vandalism if that the cameras on a CleverLoop small business security system, can act as CCTV, where all footage is recorded to a hard drive, as well as alerting you or your staff, via smartphone, as soon as anything out of the ordinary happens.

In business, a security camera is only smart as the system you use to control it.

In business, a security camera is only as smart as the system you use to control it.

Don’t underestimate the value of the deterrent effect of having security/CCTV cameras on and in your business premises either. Often just seeing cameras is enough to persuade troublemakers to look for an easier target.

Some tips on planning a business camera system

If you are looking at installing a camera security system, then there are a few things to consider.

Cost is an obvious first point, both the up-front purchase price, and any ongoing fees. We think that CleverLoop systems are the best value-for-money camera security package on the market today, and it has no ongoing fees either.

Next you want to think about the areas you want to protect and where best to place cameras to cover those areas. If vandalism is an issue at your premises, you should consider positioning cameras where they are well out of reach. You should also try to position pairs of cameras so that they can see each other. This means if anyone tries doing anything to a camera, you will get footage of it happening from another.

Finally, don’t forget that indoor cameras have their uses too. You can position indoor cameras in windows looking out. Although they have night vision, it isn’t as strong that as on outdoor cameras, but if an indoor camera is covering an area that also has an outdoor camera pointed at it, the infra red light from that outdoor camera will light up the scene for the indoor camera too.

You should also look at having indoor cameras covering the obvious access points into your premises. If you outdoor cameras catches people vandalising the outside of your building, and they go on to break in, an indoor camera will add to the story as it captures footage of them inside.

Fight back against vandalism

So there you have it, there are things you can do to minimise the risk to your small business of vandalism, and help boost your business security at the same time, all with the help of CleverLoop security systems.

 

by The CleverLoop Team
February 16, 2017