Online statistics report that a burglary happens at least once every 30 seconds. Ordinarily, we are always quick to safeguard our homes, forgetting company premises need to be protected too. Once burglars manage to access your office premises, chances of it happening over and over become high. Even worse, staff may no longer feel safe and customers avoid coming in out of fear.
What do you do if your offices are broken into? When intruder s manage to break into your offices it’s obvious property and equipment get stolen and in other cases people get hurt. How you react after this determines what happens next.
Here are ideas on how to react after a break into your company’s premises.
· Inform the police
When thieves break into premises, people are left feeling shocked and confused, but one of the most important first reactions is to call the police. Depending on how the break-in happened, whether you were around or not, the police will know what to do.
Do not try to move anything because the police will need to examine company premises for information that might help catch the intruders. To help solve the case, you’ll be required to provide the police with information about the crime like when it took place, what they took how they might have entered and a check of security systems may be required.
From then on the police will issue an official report depending on the type of break in which you can share with your insurance company.
· Contact your insurance company
After getting a report from the police, it’s important to reach out to your insurance company. Insurers expect to be informed within 24hrs of the incident so don’t wait any longer. During the process, they’ll ask for things like a verbal explanation of the break-in, a crime number, and an estimate of the damage or stolen goods. To confirm your words they may need to visit your premises so they can assess the extent of damage and clear you.
· Find out what was stolen
If you already had an inventory of all company property, finding out what was stolen becomes easier. This necessary process is what will help determine what needs to be replaced and how much it will cost to do so. Hopefully, the list includes serial numbers and who they belonged to. Avoid erasing any information about stolen items until you’ve spoken to the police because there’s a possibility they can still be tracked down using the IP address.
· Determine what went wrong
Now you know the importance of installing CCTV cameras around the workplace area. They come in handy when burglars break into the premises. In this situation, you need to put together and review camera footage to see what went wrong. Carefully watch out for when the intruder entered and from where. Then, zoom in to see if you can get their experience.
What happens if you didn’t have cameras installed? Find out if street-side cameras may have captured anything. Ensure to check for suspicious activity because it could be the key to finding the people responsible. Look out for people loitering around your company premises.
Questions to help determine what went wrong
What did they use to access the premises, was it by key or card?
Here all employees may need to question if they misplaced their key or card.
Who visited the company premises during the week?
Inexperienced thieves usually visit the premises weeks or days before they break-in. The camera footage will help show suspicious visitors and how many times they came in.
Who was around before during and after the break-in?
Follow-ups with these people may provide important information or contribute as investigations go on.
· Put up more or better security measures
One security measure doesn’t always help. You can’t put up CCTV cameras and expect a break-in not to happen. Someone has to be able to monitor or constantly view the footage to see any suspicious activity. Other security measures that can help are training employees on how to keep safe and make an inventory of company equipment among other things.
The more the layers of security measures you set, the more difficult it will be for robbers to access your building.
· Outsource security services
Outsourcing security guards to a facilities management company certainly pays off when a break-in happens. Why is this so? Usually, security guards are the first people that get involved when intruders come in, they are the ones who confront and maybe even fight back. They can be extremely helpful in terms of making a statement at the police station and they act as first-hand witnesses too.
To top this up, security services companies are always monitoring installed CCTV cameras meaning that they’ll be able to inform the police fast and help catch the criminals.
For companies that haven’t been working with them, security guards may be provided to guard the premises so that a robbery doesn’t happen a second time.
· Communicate to employees
Among the first things you want to do when a break-in occurs is to hold an internal meeting with your employees. Break-ins can create a lot of shock and fear among people. Reassure the employees and inform them that there’s a plan already in motion to save the situation. Inclusively, let them know it won’t happen again. Invite them to share any information that may help police catch the intruders, maybe who took certain keys, entered unauthorized places without having to publicly blame anyone. Make sure to share with them new security plans so that it doesn’t happen again.
To sum this up, never wait weeks or days after a break-in happens to react. Reacting immediately is what helps. When the break in is reported to police and your insurance company is notified and security guards are called on to protect your employees and business, that’s what helps. On the other hand, the longer you wait, the more difficult and “contaminated” the crime scene becomes. Someone may even steal information that could help catch the burglars or robbers.