Festive business security alert

Amid concerns of decreasing police budgets, a reader appeals for senior police to make the right priorities. See letter

Amid concerns of decreasing police budgets, a reader appeals for senior police to make the right priorities. See letter

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POLICE are reminding local business owners to keep their property and money safe this Christmas ahead of an increase in takings.

Officers have been providing crime prevention advice to banks, jewellers and post offices before the festive period as part of a regional campaign to reduce the risk of robberies and thefts.

The move is part of Operation Vault, with police carrying out operations throughout December to prevent such crimes across the county.

Supt Simon Giles, of Lancashire Police’s South Division which includes Appley Bridge, Parbold, Up Holland and Wrightington, said: “We are stepping up our fight against criminals who carry out robberies of commercial and financial premises. In the run-up to the festive period many businesses enjoy an increase in takings and we want to ensure that it is the business that benefits from this financial boost rather than a burglar or robber who may seek to take this as an opportunity for unlawful gain.”

Officers are giving business owners top tips:

* Ensure that any intruder and panic alarms are fully operational and subject to an immediate police response in case of activation;

* Be extra vigilant during cash or stock deliveries/collections and make all your staff aware of the added risks at this time of year;

* Be mindful of any suspicious activity on your premises during opening hours. For example, individuals who are inside but do not appear to be using any of your services/buying anything. They may be observing the layout of the premises or checking out stock/cash delivery times.

* If you have a CCTV system, ensure that it is operational and that cameras are recording images from appropriate areas.

* Ensure that money is stored appropriately in a safe or other secure area.

* When visiting the bank with cash, vary your habits, for example, day, time and route; and consider how much you carry and where possible attend the bank in twos.