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Tameside Business Security Guide


Towards a Safer Tameside

"People have a right to feel safe. The Council will work to create an environment in which the people of Tameside will be free of the fear of crime and will be more secure from crime at home, at work and in public places.

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council is aware that the incidence of crime and the fear of crime has a debilitating effect on the Business community. Burglary, vandalism and even arson are all too frequent occurrences, creating loss, damage and inconvenience that businesses can ill afford.

The Tameside Business Watch Partnership brings together Officers from the Council, local businesses and other agencies. The partnership approach encompasses concern with both physical crime prevention and the fundamental economic and social factors that can lead to criminal behaviour.

In the immediate future Tameside Council plans to launch more Business Watch Schemes and to join with local businesses in improving the physical security of industrial and commercial areas.

You can join with us in reducing crime by devising and implementing a Crime Prevention Policy and by collaborating with others to develop a collective and comprehensive approach to the security of your neighbourhood".

The Tameside Business Watch Partnership brings together Officers from the Council, Greater Manchester Police, local businesses and other organisations to tackle the underlying causes of crime.

A number of crime prevention initiatives are already underway in Tameside, such as The Business Watch Scheme, The Businesses Watch Initiative and the promotion of Secured by Design in all new commercial development in the Borough.

The aim of these webpages is to act as a quick reference guide to how to reduce the risk of crime and improve the working environment. The most important factor is that you and your businesses are active in preventing crime and not simply reacting each time you suffer a loss or attack. A package of security measures implemented and maintained is by far the most effective method of securing your premises.

Whilst no-one can guarantee that premises will not fall victim to crime, by using the information contained within this guide and consulting your local community safety officer, you can reduce your exposure to it. By working together we can create a safe and secure business environment.

Chief Superintendent K Mulligan, Greater Manchester Police, Tameside Division

The recommendations contained in this guide are not exhaustive, but will go a long way to helping you combat crime and the fear of crime.

Physical security measures are often expensive and so it also pays to be imaginative in crime prevention, working with the police and other agencies, your staff, neighbouring businesses and the local community. By sharing ownership of problems and working together to reduce them we can create a safe and secure environment in which we work.

  • Take crime seriously - act to prevent it
  • Form a Crime Prevention Policy
  • Implement and update your Policy
  • Act in Partnership - with other businesses, with the local community, with other agencies

Forming A Crime Prevention Policy

Crime is not just the concern of the police. As well as the obvious financial costs of crime, businesses are also affected by the impact of crime on people. Customers and staff may be lost as a result of crime and the fear of it occurring.

It is important that crime prevention is given a top priority in the running of any business. It may be tempting to avoid investing time and money in security matters where no tangible end product or profit may result, but with the lost productivity and profits that crime can cause, this could be an expensive policy in the long term.

The best way to reduce the vulnerability of your business to crime is to form a crime prevention policy and put it into practice. Inform all your staff of the priority being given to crime prevention and hold meetings and training sessions where all your employees are able to contribute to the Policy. You may also consider personal safety training for staff which is available free of charge from the police and which will help instil shared values in crime prevention in your company. The quality of the working environment and the security of your premises should go hand in hand.

Make sure that everyone is aware of security procedures where they exist and that they are trained in how to implement them. Set up a crime reporting system and monitor the records you keep in order to be able to target resources at areas where you are vulnerable to crime.

Your crime prevention policy should also look beyond the factory gate at the wider community. How your business relates to and is perceived by the local community can have an important effect on crime. You may already be involved with the community through employment, for example, but you should look at other ways of building a positive relationship with local people, being seen as an asset to the community rather than a target for crime. The Council's Community Safety Strategy can offer useful opportunities for developing local networks.

Finally, consult the police and neighbouring businesses on security matters. A combined effort is more likely to succeed in reducing crime than simply standing alone and the collective approach will also help develop confidence and vitality in the area, thus discouraging crime.

Securing The Perimeter

The physical security of your building should start at the perimeter of the land on which your property stands.

By clearly identifying the boundaries of your site you begin to create a 'defensible space' over which you can exercise control. The intelligent use of fencing, walls, buffer zones and landscaping can help define boundaries and so discourage crime and reduce the fear of it occurring.

You should ensure that your surroundings are clean and well-kept to provide natural surveillance and so deter potential intruders with the fear of detection.

  • Where fencing is required, steel palisade or welded steel mesh provides the most effective security
  • Gates should match the height of the wall or fence and be fitted close to the ground with vertical palings to avoid providing footholds
  • Good quality security lighting will enhance natural surveillance and can be used to support other security measures, such as CCTV
  • Trees and foliage should be properly trimmed to avoid providing cover for intruders

In devising your security strategy for the perimeter, special attention should be given to vulnerable points such as car parks, loading bays, gates and any other entry points.

External security measures will usually require planning permission and you should contact the Council's Planning Department in advance of carrying out any work to the perimeter.

Securing Your Building

picture of a Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) SignIn securing your building, particular attention should be paid to possible entry points such as doors, windows, walls, the roof and the cellar.

Good quality security does not come cheap and you should think carefully about what measures you need and where to target them. The best way to ensure value for money in securing your premises is to act on the advice of a security specialist. Free advice is available from your Community Safety Officer.

Your insurance company should also be consulted on security measures. They may wish to carry out a survey of their own or stipulate minimum security measures. The installation of an effective security strategy could also lead to a reduction in your insurance premiums.

  • External doors should be of good quality, solid construction and mounted in a robust frame anchored to the wall. They should be secured with five lever mortice locks manufactured to at least BS 3621 standard
  • Laminated glass or double glazing will help protect you against acts of vandalism, but all opening windows should be fitted with good quality window locks. Internal bars, grilles or roller shutters can add further protection where necessary. External security measures will probably require planning permission
  • Features which might provide a ladder to the roof, such as pipework, should be protected with anti-scaling devices. Skylights and other roof entry points should be given the same protection as doors and windows
  • The walls of many industrial premises are not as indestructible as they may first appear. Welded mesh panels, properly secured, can be used as added protection. Reinforced bollards or heavy concrete planters can also be used to frustrate possible ram raids. These obstacles should be positioned carefully, especially on road frontages

Remember that turning your building into a fortress is not necessarily the best way to combat crime. Your premises may look secure but if your security measures are not thought through or targeted at the right areas you may be vulnerable to crime. The physical security of your building should not be considered in isolation from the other security issues outlined in this guide.

Electronic Security

Electronic security measures can provide extra protection and act as a deterrent, especially against opportunist crime.

  • Alarms can be linked to other building security measures and can be set up so as to notify you or a monitoring agency by telephone when they have been triggered. The external "bell box" should be sited prominently to increase the deterrent value of the system
  • Close Circuit Television (CCTV) can help protect the perimeter and can be targeted at sensitive areas, such as loading bays, cash offices and entrances. Ensure that the system is monitored and recorded and that the picture quality is clear
  • Make sure that your electronic equipment is well maintained and that staff are trained in how to use it and how to respond to crime incidents that are detected
  • Access Control Systems can be used to restrict entry to authorised persons, both at the site's perimeter and at sensitive areas within it
  • Security Lighting can be a useful deterrent and can be used to support CCTV cameras at entry points

There are now a large number of security suppliers, contractors and installers, offering their services on the market. While not wanting to spend money unnecessarily, you should take care not to waste money on a system that is incorrectly installed or does not meet your requirements.

  • Always obtain at least 3 comparative quotations
  • Check that the specifications of the proposed work meet with the requirements of your insurance company
  • Check that the company is approved by a regulatory body; such as the National Approved Council for Security Systems (NACOSS) or is a member of a trade association like The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) or the International Professional Security Association (IPSA)

Computer Security

photograph of a computer with a padlock and chainHigh value, portable tools and equipment should be kept in a secure store and signed out to individuals. This is not always practicable particularly in the case of personal computers which are usually permanently set up.

Computer crime is on the increase and is becoming more specialised as criminals target high value computer chips. Areas containing computers and ancillary equipment should have additional security measures.

  • Do not advertise the presence of computer equipment
  • Site high value equipment deep into your premises where possible and away from windows and external doors
  • Property mark all equipment prominently and keep a record of all serial numbers

A number of specialist security measures are available for computers including, desk top lock down systems, lockable or adhesive pads, security taps and alarms. New devices are continuously being developed and you should contact your Community Safety Officer for details.

Computer theft can also be costly in terms of lost data and information. Make sure that important data is backed up regularly on floppy disk and stored securely away from the computer area.

Securing Vehicles and Compounds

A great deal of crime against businesses occurs through vehicle theft and theft from vehicles. Vehicle crime can often occur during business hours as well as overnight and so you should ensure that security procedures are followed.

By adopting a package of physical security measures on the perimeter of your premises you can go a long way towards deterring vehicle compounds for security lighting and CCTV and ensure that they are well fenced and gated.

  • Ensure that all doors of unoccupied vehicles are locked, including loading and unloading doors
  • Park vehicles with the off-loading doors against a wall, where possible
  • Fit vehicles carrying high value loads with Immobilisers, Tracking Devices, Security and Attack Alarms. Set up reporting arrangements with the driver and alert the police if the driver fails to report in as expected

Where you have valuable plant and machinery you may consider joining a national register which will help to recover and repatriate stolen goods.

Cash in Transit

Cash should be banked at the earliest opportunity both for commercial reasons and to prevent your premises becoming a target for crime. Use a specialist security firm to transport large amounts of cash where possible. If using employees, make sure that you use at least two able bodied persons with one acting as an escort.

  • Let the escort go first and survey the area before any cash is brought out
  • Provide all persons with the means of raising the alarm
  • Avoid a set routine - change the times and routes regularly, using busy roads rather than quiet ones
  • If on foot, walk facing on coming traffic with the escort a few paces behind the carrier
  • Check that your security arrangements satisfy the requirements of your insurance company

Remember, the beginning and end of your journey are the most likely places for attack so be especially vigilant on leaving the building and when depositing the cash.

Cash Handling

Cash will be the most obvious target for criminals. Secure cash offices and site them in a part of the building which is inaccessible to the public and not in view. You should also consider the following additional security measures:

  • Devise a set procedure for handling cash and train all the staff involved in how the procedure operates and what action to take in the event of an attack
  • Keep cash holdings in a safe with key and combination and keep the safe locked
  • Install physical protection, such as security screens, and a personal attack button for staff in the cash holding area. CCTV cameras may also be advisable in at-risk areas
  • Conceal duplicate keys inside cash rooms and store rooms to allow staff to escape if locked in by raiders

New and Refurbished Buildings

Once a building is constructed the main opportunity to prevent crime has gone. By applying police recommendations at the early stages of new developments and refurbishment's you can design out crime. Secured By Design is a major police initiative which seeks to encourage builders and developers to meet required security standards.

The police Architectural Liaison Officers offer expert advice on designing out crime and can award Secured By Design accreditation to help market new and refurbished properties.

Contact the Architectural Liaison Officer at the initial design stage of any proposed building works.

Business Watch Schemes

Business Watch Schemes demonstrate the partnership approach to business security where neighbouring companies come together to devise and implement a crime prevention strategy measures have had success in reducing levels of crime.

  • Establish ring-rounds or telephone trees can give an early warning of suspicious activity.
  • Tameside Business Watch is developing multi-faxing facilities enabling simultaneous contact with all Business Watch companies.
  • By involving the police you can share news of crime trends and crime prevention developments are targeted at relevant areas and take account of crime prevention needs.
  • Companies can share the cost of security measures. This can result in substantial saving on security measures or help companies to share the cost of more substantial security systems such as a mobile patrol or electronic gates for an estate.
  • Improved security provided by a Business Watch Scheme can lead to reduced insurance premiums for those companies involved.

Tameside Council and Greater Manchester Police are playing an active part in supporting new Business Watches.

The most important factor is that you and your business are active in preventing crime and not simply reacting each time you suffer an attack or loss. A package of security measures implemented and maintained is by far the most effective method of securing your premises.

Reporting Crime

A simple Crime Reporting System will help you keep your own records of crime and the losses you are suffering as well as providing the police with accurate information when responding. Make sure that you note the time, location, description of people involved, details of any vehicles involved and the cost of the crime to you.

Use the police as an information bank, reporting all crime, even when no loss occurs. Greater Manchester Police keep a computer record of all reported crime and analyse this information in order to identify problem areas and target resources. Crime data is crucial to police operations and a special reporting system has now been established where you can report incidents of crime whether or not a direct police response is warranted.

All your staff should be made aware of the Greater Manchester Police telephone number. 0161-872-5050, and know where to find it quickly.

Contact Telephone Numbers


Organisation/Services Available Telephone Number
Greater Manchester Police
(Reporting a Crime)
Crime Prevention Officers
(Advice on Security)
0161-856-9246 (North)
0161-856-9586 (South)
Architectural Liaison Officer
(Designing Out Crime)
Tameside M.B.C.
(General Enquiries)
Business Link Tameside
(Business Advice & Support)
Tame Valley Initiative
(Environment Improvements)
(call free and anonymously)
0800 555 111