See below for free tips and resources available to businesses to prevent them from being the target of crime, including break & enters.
Crime Prevention Facebook Group for Small Business Owners
The Toronto Police, 11 Division has started a Facebook group for business owners which provides information on the following topics:
- Informing business owners of crimes committed in a specific area
- Post trends in crimes targeting businesses (Crime Analysis Maps)
- Crime Prevention material specifically geared towards businesses
- Keeping you updated about the business break and enter trends
- Ability to contact our Crime Prevention Office – Arrange a FREE business security assessment
- Posting updates about upcoming online Webinars, Newsletters, and Podcasts that we may be hosting for our businesses in 11 Division
CLICK HERE to join the Facebook group
Book a CPTED Audit – Email Constable Jan Barr Today!
It may be worthwhile to use this time to schedule a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Audit. 11 Division will conduct an individual assessment of your business and provide personalised crime prevention tips. Email Constable Jan Barr (Janet.Barr@torontopolice.on.ca) to set up a Safety Audit today. It is a simple process that typically takes an hour.
Crime Prevention Tips for your business
Police recommend the following guidelines:
- Keep as little cash around as possible.
- Make bank deposits frequently but irregularly so as not to establish a discernible pattern.
- Securely anchor your safe in a highly visible, well-lit location.
- Empty your cash drawers and leave them open after hours. (consider leaving the empty cash drawer near the front door, advertising that there is no money on hand).
- Keep the premises visible from the street; avoid blocking the interior view with high window displays and/or advertisements on windows.
- Make sure trees and shrubs around entranceways are trimmed.
- Don’t leave ladders or tools lying around that a burglar could use to help them break in.
Doors and Windows
- Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Those with glass should have double cylinder deadbolts.
- Make sure you check all doors and windows each day, before closing.
- Develop a system of key security. Make sure all keys issued are signed for and turned in when an employee leaves the company. You may even want to change locks and combinations.
- Do not label or identify keys with what they are used for. If necessary, use a coding system.
- If you have doors with outside hinges, use non-removable hinge pins. Install panel doors lined with metal to resist drilling.
- Doors and windows on the sides and rear of a building are often inviting to the burglar because they offer concealment.
- Steel reinforcing bars on doors and gratings or bars on windows offer good security. Check with Toronto Fire & bylaw regarding bylaws or codes that may restrict this practice
- Every exterior opening offers a potential point of entry. Do not overlook security at places like fire escapes, skylights, roof openings, air ducts, doorway transoms, loading docks, sidewalk and basement openings.
- Before you leave, check all potential hiding places, like bathrooms, closets and storage areas. The last thing you want to do is to lock a burglar inside.
- Install a good alarm system and have it checked regularly.
- Make sure it is wired to go off at all potential points of entry, including doors, windows, roof openings, loading docks and vents.
Surveillance CCTV System
- Protect your business with a quality CCTV system.
- Ensure that the storage drive is recording and accessible to police when required.
- Post signs advising that the area is under video surveillance.
- Place height markers at the main entrance so employees can use them to gauge the height of a robber as he/she leaves the business on video.
- Install CCTV cameras that offer nighttime surveillance.
- Install motion-sensor lights around the exterior of the building.
- Attend your business periodically to assess if everything is in order.
- Post a notice on the front door stating “No Cash or Goods on Hand.”
- Remove valuable items from the front of the store such as electronics, alcohol, iPads, expensive hair care products, & point of sale electronics.
Other general Robbery Prevention techniques have been posted HERE and follow 11 Division’s social media accounts to stay updated.