It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare.
You approach your premises one morning only to notice that one of the windows has been smashed. As you enter the building, you realise the problem is actually much worse; someone has got in and ransacked the place.
Business robberies can be just as devastating, costly and frightening as home burglaries. Knowing what to do if it happens to your business isn’t easy, which is why we’ve put together this super-simple guide.
If there were people in the building at the time of the robbery, they should be your first priority.
Check that any members of staff who are on site are ok, uninjured and, if appropriate, send them home to be with their families.
Providing everyone is safe, ok and unharmed, it’s time to move onto step two.
Before assessing the damage and thefts yourself, it’s important to contact the police as soon as possible. By leaving the crime scene undisturbed, you’ll make their job much easier and facilitate what will hopefully be a successful conviction.
The police should be able to arrive quickly and will give you a crime reference number. Keep that safe, because it’ll be useful for insurance claims.
Clearly, you don’t want a repeat visit from the criminals, but if you leave your premises poorly contained after the robbery, they might be tempted to do so.
Emergency boarding is more affordable than you might think, and when installed by professionals, will last for as long as you need it to; in some ways, its’ even better than having a window there when it comes to preventing robberies!
You can do this before or after the police have left, but if you choose the former, remember to be careful not to disturb the crime scene.
Take a look around and make notes about what has been stolen. Look for the obvious stuff (computers and other valuable devices) and the things that you might not think about until a later date (the keys to your pool cars, for instance).
This will give you the perfect opportunity to call the insurance providers with details of what has been taken.
When noting computer equipment, keep in mind what data might have gone with it, too. Some devices offer ‘remote wipe’ features that delete all data when not in your possession, but it’s also essential that you change all passwords and credit cards as soon as possible.
Once everything has been cleared and the police have done their work, it’s time to repair what has been broken.
Start with the windows. Get the same company to remove the emergency boarding and, if possible, fix the glazing (you’ll be surprised by how often this can be done instead of having to buy new frames).
The same goes internally; make sure you bring everything back to a safe standard for employees to work in.
Something clearly went wrong if thieves were able to enter your premises. It may have been the alarm, or poor window fittings, for instance.
Whatever it was, this is the time to learn from it and make improvements. Invest in a better alarm system and ensure your glazing is of high quality. The more you do now, the less chance you have of this happening again.
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