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How physical security can prevent theft in the workplace

One of the biggest fears for any business owner is that of theft. Almost any business has the potential to be a target for theft and it can be difficult to know what to do to stop it. One of the most successful theft prevention methods has been to employ physical measures which can stop theft from occurring, deter thieves from trying and help to identify those who do.

In this article we take a look at what physical security measures you could put in place and how these can benefit your business.

The threat of theft in the workplace

We previously reported on UK business crime with data that emerged from 2020. At that time, there was a total of 606,282 crimes against business in England and Wales reported.

Forward to 2023 and new reports tell of 8million incidents happened in the retail sector alone. Official data from showed in 2021 the most prevalent crime type was theft, followed by verbal abuse and burglary.

It is a sad fact, but most businesses are now a target for theft. This might be because of the stock they carry, the cash they hold or the equipment that they use. In order to prevent theft, we first need to understand where your biggest threat comes from.

External theft is probably the type of theft that most of us think of when we think about theft in the workplace. This is committed by individuals from outside of the business and could come from shoplifting, fraud, and robbery.

The impact of theft can be a huge one financially. Not only will you need to pay to recoup your physical losses, but you will also find that much of your time and the time of your employees will be taken up by investigations. You will probably also find that your insurance premiums might rise, and depending on the effects of the theft, you could also lose customers.

There is also a mental cost to theft. As a business owner, you will spend many sleepless nights trying to get to the bottom of what happened and feel extremely stressed whilst staff members may feel less safe, lack trust in their colleagues and even feel traumatised.

For some businesses, the cost can be too great, and they find themselves unable to cope with the losses and eventually close their doors for good.

Physical security measures to prevent theft

There are a number of physical security measures that you can put in place to prevent theft, but one of the most successful is access control. This allows you to decide who should be on your premises, whereabouts they should be and what times they should be there. Access control systems can include things such as security gates and barriers, turnstiles, security bollards and height restriction barriers.

These all help to stop people from entering your property when they are not supposed to be there but can still give access to your staff and customers. These also act as a great deterrent – they show that you have taken your security measures seriously and your premises will look difficult to access.

Another successful physical security measure is the use of security cameras. This can record everything that goes on in and around your business, and the sight of one can help to keep thieves away. Any business should also have an alarm in place to let you, your security team or the police know when someone has gained access to your property. It allows you to act quickly and you might even be able to catch them in the act.

Security personnel create a very visible presence and can be a great deterrent. These might be positioned on doors and gates or performing patrols around the premises at night. Security personnel can be an unexpected and unpredictable hazard for thieves who would probably prefer to take on somewhere that will not bring them face to face with another human being.

Employee training and awareness

Whilst you can put plenty of physical security measures in place to prevent theft, you should not underestimate the important role that your employees can play, which is why employee training can be very important. They will need to understand the measures that you have put in place, such as how they can open a security barrier to avoid minimal disruption to them but still preventing thieves from gaining access.

They should also be offered training from security experts to make them more aware of the threats that are around them. These courses can even explain how they should respond to certain situations in order to keep themselves and others safe. If everyone knows how to deal with a situation, then can not only make it a safer place to work, but a happier and more productive one too.

Integration with digital security

Many physical security measures can now be integrated with digital security to give you the best of both worlds. For example, your security gates and barriers can make use of ANPR technology to check who is coming and going, whilst biometric locks can be added to doors which are activated by fingerprints or facial recognition and can avoid people sharing keys and access codes. It also means that you can check who was in the building and even which department they were in at any given time.

Why businesses should install physical security measures

Security is paramount in any business, both for the wellbeing and safety of those who work there and for the financial impact that theft can have. Businesses can suffer on a daily basis as a result of theft, but investing in physical security measures such as access control systems can help to put you back in control of your business, keep thieves out and make sure your employees’ behaviour can also be monitored. This can be a huge step in keeping your business theft free.

Secure your business today

At Newgate, we specialise in providing sophisticated physical security solutions that can help protect your workplace from theft and other security risks. Our team of experts can work with you to identify vulnerabilities in your current security setup and recommend tailored solutions to meet your specific needs and budget.

Start the conversation today, and contact our team if you want to secure your business from the inside-out.

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