Antisocial behaviour rivals burglary and robbery as business security concerns

by Gazette Reporter
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A new survey on crime against businesses in Ireland has found that Antisocial Behaviour at 30 per cent was the largest type of crime experienced since January 2020. 

Vandalism and Burglary ranked next on 28 per cent each with Assaults were at 17 per cent.

The survey to determine the type of crime, the costs and the importance of security among Irish businesses was conducted by Amárach Research for Netwatch, the global leaders in  Proactive Video Monitoring.

“It would appear that antisocial behaviour and assaults are focussed on businesses such as retail and other situations where staff have face-to-face interaction with the public,” said Colin Hayes, Netwatch Head of Business (Ireland & UK).

Hayes added that an aspect of burglary and robbery that has given rise to concern particularly among car dealerships, car rental and even car parking operators is the incidence of catalytic converters being stolen.

Figures released by An Garda Síochána in August last show that the number of stolen catalytic converters had jumped from 79 in 2017 to 1,300 in 2020.

Over 40 per cnt of those surveyed by Netwatch were the victims of criminal activity since January 2020. For 88 oper cent of those who were impacted by criminal activity the cost to the business as a result of the crime was an average of €47,000.  For another 5% of those companies the cost was in excess of €500,000. 

Insurances and public liability requirements influence security arrangements for 82% of Irish businesses according to the study.

Hayes said: “This survey clearly shows that security is now a key consideration for businesses, particularly in organisations with more than 50 employees and with revenue of €1million or more. Not surprisingly almost half of those planning to increase their investment in security have been a victim of criminal activity in recent times.

“Now as winter kicks in and daylight hours are reduced, it’s a critical time for businesses to review their security risk.”

Looking to the future nearly one third of the businesses surveyed expect their investment in security will increase over the next 12 months. This expectation is highest among organisations with 50+ employees and those with between 2-4 sites.

Remote monitored CCTV is the most popular measure for future investment, followed by intruder alarm systems, self-monitored CCTV and perimeter fencing. 

Burglary/Robbery is the main concern of 60 per cent of organisations but vandalism, fraud and antisocial behaviour are also of increasing concern.

One-quarter of respondents said that the level of importance they placed on security had increased since the pandemic. While a similar number who have turned to remote working during the pandemic said that remote working had caused their security needs to change. These changes included increasing security in general, increasing physical measures and increasing remote security.

The comprehensive Netwatch research was carried out by Amárach Research during July/August 2021 to study business security, risk and cost. The 260 survey participants were all senior business decision makers with responsibility for security measures within their organisations.  Over 20 different business sectors were canvassed with 84% being SME’s and 16% Enterprise businesses.

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