Reports suggest surge in break-ins at commercial sites during coronavirus lockdown
According to recent statistics, police forces across the UK are having to carry out extra night patrols in empty city and town centres, as burglars target shops, pubs and other commercial premises during the coronavirus lockdown.
Police are urging businesses who have shut temporarily due to the coronavirus lockdown to make sure they are protected against opportunist burglars.
Firms across the UK were ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week to close in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.
But an increase in empty commercial buildings gives criminals the chance to break into them and steal valuable goods and cause damage.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has issued a set of guidelines to companies to help keep them secure during the lockdown period. Force lead on businesses across Greater Manchester, Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, said: “This is an uncertain time for us all, and we are faced with a rapidly changing environment we are all having to adjust to.
"Coronavirus has necessitated many businesses to close across Greater Manchester."
"We would like to thank all of the businesses who have closed their doors in line with the Government advice, and we appreciate everyone who is playing their part to help keep us all safe."
“Greater Manchester Police are committed to helping to keep local communities safe, including businesses who are deemed as essential, and also those who have had to close."
"Crime prevention remains a force priority, and we ask that you play your part in helping keep businesses safe."
The force has issued advice online on how businesses can increase its security. Superintendent Caroline Hemingway said: “We would encourage everyone follows the guidance we have issued on our website to help protect their businesses, especially those which are currently unattended due having to close.
"Key advice includes ensuring all premises are secure, ensuring no valuables are left on sight and where possible, ensuring CCTV is installed and well positioned.”
Here are GMP's top tips to companies to guard themselves against burglars:
- Review the safety of all premises, addressing any vulnerabilities in the space between the perimeter, any outbuildings and the main building.
- Ensure no valuables are left in sight. Ensure any items which could be used to aid entry and stored away securely, including tools and ladders.
- Review CCTV where available, ensuring an accredited system is correctly installed, check any blind spots and ensure cameras are positioned to see as much of the premises as possible, including possible vulnerable areas.
- Ensure good lighting.
- Register property on Immobilise.com, so property can be returned to the rightful owner if recovered. Immobilise is a free register for high valued possessions, including all electrical items with a serial number, and power tools.
- Ensure all windows, doors, gates and fences are secure.