London businesses have been urged to do all they can to prevent burglars helping themselves to ‘Christmas presents’ from their properties over the festive season.
Offices in the capital are more vulnerable to opportunistic burglars during the Christmas holiday period than at any other time of year, according to Search Office Space.
Many offices are left vacant over the Christmas period as staff enjoy office parties and bank holidays. The festivities coincide with the longest nights of the year and buildings become an easier target for burglars.
Some 2,500 commercial premises in the capital were burgled in December last year and the Metropolitan Police has warned shorter daylight hours lead to a rise in burglaries.
Det Insp Dominic Parkin from the City of London Police said: “It’s important that businesses do what they can to protect their property, because the cost of a break-in can be significant.
“The number of commercial burglaries in the City remains low, but the impact of just one can be huge, especially if commercially sensitive documents or client data are removed, potentially causing irreversible damage to a company’s reputation. Businesses should take note of crime prevention advice so they can better protect themselves from this threat.”
Businesses are advised to designated the responsibility of closing and locking all doors and windows to someone before they leave the building, while a system should be set up to log who was first in and last out of the building.
Employees should mark equipment on their desk with their name and the company’s title and postcode, while items should also be registered at www.immobilise.com.
Companies are well advised to keep data secure, along with tangible items of value. Confidential papers should not be printed out, or left near doors and windows, while staff should be encouraged to change their passwords before Christmas.
Search Office Space managing director Richard Smith said: “London offices are a potential target for any burglar, particularly at this time of the year. Not only do they contain expensive equipment, but priceless intellectual property is put at risk if precautionary measures are not put in place for the holiday period.
“We are determined to make it as difficult as possible for thieves to succeed this year and urge all businesses to protect their offices by following our top tips for staying safe this season.”