The spike in crime in the run up to Halloween
Last year Netwatch recorded a 46% increase in criminal activity on business’s during Halloween week and expect that figure to rise this year. David Walsh, Group CEO of Netwatch said, “Halloween is great fun for kids, but it can be an extremely expensive time for business owners. Every year we see a surge in crime around business premises by youths looking for bonfire materials. Everything not nailed down is seen as fair game, from tyres and pallets to more expensive building materials and even oil theft. Warehouses, construction sites, yards and unoccupied premises are particularly vulnerable.”
“While the majority of incidents are minor, there are often serious incidents each Halloween which result in severe damage to businesses. We are urging all business owners to review their safety provision and ensure that all loose materials are secured over the bank holiday weekend and during the week. A well-lit, locked and secured area with no visible targets will deter most Halloween criminals.”
Netwatch Tips For Halloween
Keep the perimeter well lit: According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween. Keeping lights on overnight will prevent accidents and deter vandals. Installing motion sensor flood lights will accomplish the same goals while conserving energy.
Limit access to the property: Unless the business that is staying open and passing out treats, keep all entryways locked and be certain to secure windows. Control who holds keys and scratch off serial numbers on padlocks to ensure that more keys are not made. Keep bins and outdoor equipment in well lit areas.
Review your current security plan:Test alarms regularly and review your entire security system at least once a year. Your system may not be as effective and efficient as newer systems currently on the market.
Train employees to watch for unusual behaviour: Criminals tend to lurk or investigate an area before committing a crime. Teach your employees to watch out for suspicious behaviour and have a proactive plan to deal with these individuals.
Celebrate safely: If your business is hosting a Halloween party, ensure that your fire protection system is effective and operating properly. Costumes and alcohol consumption can lead to an increase of fire hazards. Be certain that fire escapes are clearly marked, fire extinguishers are in the proper places, and do not hang any decorations from ceiling sprinklers. When in doubt, contact your local fire department to request a review of your property.
A typical scene in late October as youths attempt to access a site which contained pallets and other building materials. In this case police were called and the youths subsequently fled the scene.
“Unfortunately, pranks go hand in hand with Halloween, but by thinking defensively, business owners can quell potentially serious and expensive acts of vandalism,” said David Walsh, Netwatch CEO. “Revelers must choose between fun and engaging in malicious behavior. By taking some simple steps to prevent vandalism and using extra caution, we can ensure that everyone remains safe during these times of celebration.”