Scottish businesses to be offered lockdown crime prevention advice

An online seminar will offer security advice to businesses whose premises have been forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 3:00 pm
Criminals have been taking advantage of lockdown to target businesses

With empty premises everywhere and a lack of witnesses on the streets, criminals have been taking advantage of lockdown to target businesses.

Experts from the emergency services and security companies will present a free webinar as part of a series of broadcasts launched by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.

David MacCrimmon, Police Scotland’s lead for serious and organised crime and counterterrorism, is currently seconded to SBRC and will speak to business owners and keyholders during the session, which will begin at 10am on Thursday, April 16.

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He said: “With most of us stranded in our homes, the clear and obvious place that burglars, arsonists and vandals will sadly be looking to will be our empty offices, clubs, bars and shops.

“This could range from a one-off break in to steal alcohol from a bar, to an organised effort to steal valuable assets.

“But businesses can limit their exposure to the risk – and there are reasonable steps they can still be taking to protect their premises while sticking to lockdown advice. This webinar will give us a chance to fully explain some of those options and for those that sign up to ask questions.”

As with previous broadcasts in this series, SBRC will offer expert advice to support businesses concerned about the impact of the pandemic. This week’s session will include tips on what to remove from premises, what to leave in windows, and how to safely visit.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service watch commander Gary Wood will also appear on the broadcast to offer advice on fire and safety risks.

He said: “With many businesses temporarily closed due to the current Government restrictions on Covid-19, premises may now be unoccupied.

“Fire does not discriminate and can strike at any time including periods of unprecedented situations such as the global pandemic we currently face. But with a number of straightforward steps, it is possible to appropriately manage fire risk within your temporarily vacant premises.

“The watchwords are ‘Protect the building – Protect the business’. There can be a link between fire risk and criminality in terms of the risk of wilful fire raising.

“This webinar will focus on practical guidance and advice that business owners and managers can use to mitigate those fire risks.”

Other experts to participate in the online event are Ronnie Megaughin of the Security Industry Authority and Allan Burnett QPM from SecuriGroup.

To register for the session on vacant properties, click here

Previous webinars can be viewed here