Beat Crime with Security – Bristol Statistics Update

When it comes to understanding what is needed in terms of security, Bristol businesses often find it useful to keep track security in bristolof crime statistics in the local area as well as looking out for developing trends that may be occurring in terms of specific types of crime. This allows them to take pro-active action in terms of what they need to do to update or organise their security – such as employ additional security guards.

Below are listed some recent statistics to help you get an idea of the current trends and numbers in terms of crime in Bristol – although it is advised that you also check out your local area statistics for crime, which can be done by typing your postcode into the Police.UK website.

Bristol: The News in Numbers

When it comes to security, Bristol isn’t the worst – but it certainly isn’t the best.

The months of September and August were neck and neck in terms of crimes reported – showing that so far this year, there doesn’t appear to be a significant downturn.

Within a mile of central Bristol, there were 1656 crimes reported in September compared with 1660 in August – a difference of only 4.

If we take the 3 categories that most affect business – Anti-social Behaviour, Criminal Damage and Shoplifting – these numbers are showing a similar level as well.

In September, there were 717 incidents of anti-social behaviour compared with August’s 701, 154 reports of shoplifting compared with August’s 139 and 89 incidents of criminal damage compared with August’s 95.

Impact on You

Although it may seem that no increase is good news, the fact is that security measures Bristol businesses employ could be better – because it goes without saying that more security (such as security guards, closed circuit television and alarm systems) leads to less incidents of crime.

What can you do as a business to make sure that security in Bristol is strengthened over the coming months?

  • Take a look at your security set-up. Do you employ security guards? Do you have CCTV fitted? Does it work?
  • Check the company you use. Do they do what they promise to? Are their security guards all SIA licensed? Do they offer you enough services?
  • Make improvements. If your set-up isn’t completely on the ball, improve it. If your security company doesn’t give you everything your business needs, sack them and find a security company that does.

Less crime, more business, better Bristol.

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The Level of Security Bristol Needs

If you live in Bristol and you read the local papers, you’re probably only too familiar with the recurring stories of crimes such as robbery, shoplifting and public disorder. But is it as bad as it sounds? Crime figures seem to suggest that although Bristol has more incidents of crime than it would like, it isn’t as bad as some cities and districts within the United Kingdom.

How risky is Bristol?

One of the key points you have to remember when you read the news is that the newspaper companies make their money by printing shocking stories, so you can expect them to go out and find the worst of the worst. This means that often, it seems crime is more prevalent than it actually is.

What you must also bear in mind however, is that although Bristol is certainly on the increase in terms of security, the news still endeavours to report the truth, meaning crime is out there. Considering security? Bristol Security Guard companies are at the ready…

What this means for security firms

Because crime exists, there is going to be a constant need for security firms to provide a firm and reliable service. That’s why you’ll find that companies offering security in Bristol are often at the ready and waiting to provide you or your business with exactly what you need to stay safe.

For as long as there is crime, there will be security firms ready to tackle it, and the better the firm, the longer they’ll last… and the safer you’ll be.

Guards + Support = Safety

Remember that considering the services of a security guard through a professional and licensed Bristol security firm is not over-reacting – it’s playing it smart and playing it safe.

Security guards are there to prevent your business from being targeted by criminals, as well as to help the prosecution of any who go ahead and try. Security guards should be fully trained, licensed and ready for anything.

Security firms are there to provide the training needed combined with backend support – such as monitoring your alarm system, providing emergency response units and giving on-going training and support so their staff can supply your business with the strongest security.

Bristol needs the combination of the above, because when you combine expert security guards with the backup of a professional security service, you get a result that is very difficult to breach: A safe, secure business.

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Security guards brought in to tackle vandalism in Bristol

There are times in life when we say to ourselves ‘if only I’d done that sooner’ – and this was very much the case with the story of Bristol’s Colston Hall, in which Bristol security guards were brought in but only in retrospect of some of the most damaging vandalism the hall has seen in its history.1

The Colston Hall foyer which has an estimated value of £20million, was repeatedly damaged in the run up to the news report in May 2011 by youths who were thought to be causing damage for no other reason than ‘something to do’.

Improvements since security arrived on the scene

According to the news report, since security guards arrived on the scene there have so far been no more reported incidents of crime such as vandalism and anti-social behaviour. The Bristol security guards now employed by Colston Hall are successfully managing to prevent loiterers from entering the open foyer of the building – but it’s safe to say that owners of the building and the taxpayers who fund it are probably kicking themselves wishing this measure was taken sooner.

Why people are reluctant to invest in adequate security

In an economic climate where every penny spent is subject to meticulous scrutiny, councils, business owners and individuals are becoming reluctant to organise essential services such as security guard hire because they feel it is an unnecessary expense – of course, smart business owners know that this actually works the opposite way around.

Instead of incurring additional costs for businesses, the employ of professional security guards has actually been shown to reduce expenses such as cost of repair for vandalism at a rate which far exceeds the cost of hiring security in the first place.

There is a stigma attached to security guards, that only businesses ‘at risk’ of crime need to employ them – but the truth being shown in news stories such as the one above, as well as statistics and figures published by councils and police services, suggest that hiring security guards could save businesses money even in areas where crime is far less prevelant.

Unfortunately though, like the board who were in charge of decision for Colston Hall, Bristol, many groups, businesses, councils and individuals are learning this important lesson when it is too late.

Don’t let petty vandals ruin your business.

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Security Steps to protect your vacant property from squatters

What is squatting and is it legal?

Although the government are constantly trying to close loopholes that make squatting technically legal, squatting usually comes with activity that is very black-and-white criminal.

To squat legally, aside from other laws that must be adhered to, squatters must not enter the property by force – a rules squatters often ignore.

All too often, squatters break doors, windows or locks to gain access to a vacant property against the owner’s wishes – here are a few steps you can take to ensure your home remains protected against this kind of activity.

  1. Fitted Alarms. Fitting alarms is one of the first steps you should take to prevent illegal breaking and entry into your property. Alarms can usually detect motion where there shouldn’t be any and alert the relevant contacts – it’s recommended that you employ professional security services to respond to your alarm if it goes off, a they can get an emergency response team to your vacant property.
  2. CCTV. Although CCTV cannot physically prevent intruders from breaking into your home, it can be a useful tool in the prosecution of crime as it can show police who entered your property and whether they did it legally or not.
  3. Security Mobile Patrols. This is proven to be a highly effective addition to your arsenal against squatters. A professional security mobile patrol will periodically make their presence known around your property – this not only allows them to spot anything suspicious, but it gives would-be squatters a clear message: we’re watching this property.

These three tips are some of the most effective tried and tested methods of beating squatters, and here’s why:

  1. Squatters target ignored properties. If potential squatters can see that you’re not paying any attention to your property, this is a green light for them to target it as they believe they will not be caught
  2. Squatters check for security. If a squatter believes you have no adequate measures of security in place they are likely to target your property. Active security patrols periodically at the premise will send out a clear red-light and tell them that the property is being watched.

Cost and reward

The small cost of hiring a professional security company can be greatly rewarding. Luckily, the different levels of security measures you can take out can suit your budget – whether you want simply somebody to remotely monitor CCTV and alarm systems installed at your vacant property, or if you want all the bells and whistles such as a 24/7 guard at the doors – meaning whatever kind of property you want to protect against squatters, there is a professional security solution to meet it.


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Real-Life Crime: Shoplifting in Bristol

Shoplifting: It’s a word we’re all familiar with, but one we perhaps don’t take as seriously as we ought.

Shop theft in Bristol is a very real and very present problem – in fact according to official police statistics, there were 139 reported incident of shoplifting within a mile of central Bristol in the month of August 2012 alone1.

So who suffers as a result of shop theft?

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just business owners who suffer as a result of shoplifting. In fact, an incident reported by the BBC in July 2011 shows the other kind of victim criminals looking to burgle shops can cause. According to the report, a 79 year old woman was knocked over and rushed to hospital by shoplifters desperate to flee the scene of the crime2.

Ways to reduce shop theft

The story reported above isn’t all negative however – particularly for shop owners. It is worth noting that the sole reason the shoplifters were fleeing from the scene was down to the diligent efforts of the on-duty Bristol security guard company employed by the shop.

Sometimes CCTV and other security measures simply aren’t enough – it’s been shown that the presence of a security guard either within a shop or at the entrance or exit of the shop can dramatically reduce incidents of shop theft.

Why criminals avoid security guards

When a potential shoplifter sees a CCTV camera, it may be enough to deter them – but at the same time, it isn’t a real enough defence which they see as being a physical prevention from stealing goods. A security guard however sends out a clear message:

If you want to steal here, you’re going to have me to answer to.

This works in many ways, because the would-be criminal has a lot more to think about: Not only do they have to strategically avoid the vision of the cameras or the watchful eye of the shop staff, but they have to outwit and physically avoid a professional who has been trained to spot and prevent people exactly like them.

For a criminal, it’s basic psychology – and it works.

What do the stats say?

It’s now more common for businesses to employ the use of security guards to stand watch in and around their shops. And whether or not this helps according to statistics, we’ll leave you to decide – but considering that late last year (December 2011) statistics showed a reported 161 shopliftings as opposed to the 139 of August this year3, one thing is clear: Something has caused a drop in the number of shopliftings.

Can your Bristol business afford to risk shop theft?


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