The coronavirus has had a significant impact on the commercial sector-fiscally and the risk of increased anti-social behaviour in our businesses. The impact on businesses will vary and naturally be defined by its location, size, criminality, customers, produce and its security.

The following tips have been produced by the crime prevention team at Lancashire Constabulary which you may find useful.

  • If your premise/ venue has been temporarily closed ensure that;
    • Alarms are monitored, in good working order and tested.
    • Identify any vulnerable areas. Ensure any security gates, bollards, fire exit doors have been secured prior to closure. Where possible try to address any other vulnerable areas.
    • Ensure service doors are closed and locked when not in use.
    • You have a list of key holders who can be contacted in case of emergency.
    • Contact details for staff are up to date.
    • Consider moving high value items into secured stockrooms out of view.
    • Keys to the premise or other venues should not be left inside. Keep them with dedicated key holders.
    • Consider timer switches to ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premise and surrounding area.
    • Ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as packaging – consider the risk of arson.
    • Review your CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is positioned to cover as much of the businesses public and private areas as possible. It’s a good idea too to ensure all CCTV images are backed up to the cloud and/or your drive is locked away.
    • Consider a mobile phone app the allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage with any intruder.
    • Ensure that no cash is retained on the premise whilst closed. You could also leave a note on the door stating that no cash or valuables are left on site.) If you do need to leave them on site, store them in a security accredited safe, bolted to the floor.
  • If your premise/ venue has been temporarily closed, please review physical protective measures
    • Secured by design – use security rated products where possible such as PAS24/2016 (www.securedbydesign.com)
    • External shutters are recommended but some buildings may be subject to planning approval before installation.
    • Ensure all doors leading from public to staff arteries/loading areas etc. are kept secure and monitored by CCTV.
    • Laminated glass or security film that can be applied to existing glass to make it more resistant to physical assault. Shutters and grilles could be a consideration too.
    • Anti-ram security rated retractable bollards can be mounted externally to protect frontages but may also require planning approval.
    • Consider use of anti-theft alarms on most desirable household items.
    • Fogging devices that activate as a result of an intruder activation may also be beneficial – you can’t steal what you can’t see..
  • Beware of COVID19 scams

    Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.

    Law enforcement, government and private sector partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the pandemic.

    Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scales, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

    STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or any information could keep you safe.

    CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

    PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

    Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account.

    Examples of some covid19 scams

    • Online scams – email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
    • Fake online resources – such as false coronavirus maps – that deliver malware scubas as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive date. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.
    • Refund scams – companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.
    • Loan sharks – illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s and organisations financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and feels through threats and violence.
    • Donation scams – There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID19 ‘vaccine’.
    • Doorstep crime – Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return. Doorstep cleansing services too, that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.
    • Counterfeit goods – Fake sanitisers, face masks and COVID19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing gluteal, which was banned for human use in 2014.
    • Telephone scams – as more people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.
  • Additional useful information

    If your business is remaining open, please check the National Business Crime Centre for guidance and crime prevention tips.

    For any further tips or guidance, please visit the Lancashire Constabulary business crime page. 

    You can follow:

    Lancashire Constabulary Business Crime on Twitter @LancsPolBusCrime

    Lancashire Constabulary Fraud & Cyber Crime on Twitter @LancsFraudCyber

    Alternatively you can contact the Business Crime Co-ordinator on 11276@lancashire.pnn.police.uk

    Lancashire Partnership against Crime (LANPAC)is a unique collaboration between Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Business and Public Services working together to reduce levels of crime and disorder across the county. For further information about LANPAC and how businesses can join, please visit www.lanpac.co.uk or contact 10335@lancashire.pnn.police.uk