What is the Definition of Commercial Burglary?

Protect your business in Surrey against burglary

Protect your business in Surrey against burglary

When a business is burgled, it rarely hits the headlines, unless it’s a heist at Hatton Garden. But a business burglary can be just as disruptive, and it can cost millions of pounds to get back to normal afterwards.

Burglary itself has a specific definition in law, so it’s important to know what your rights are.

The definition of a burglary

If an intruder trespasses on someone else’s property, there are four reasons why it will be considered a burglary: they must have intended to steal something, damage something, injure someone, or rape someone.

A burglary is therefore a serious matter and you should expect support from your insurer and the police. But not all burglaries are equal, and even if you’re in a high crime area, you can take steps to prevent them. It helps to understand the varying ways they are committed so you can arm yourself against burglars.

How burglars break and enter

In a commercial burglary, burglars have a few more options when trying to break in. Unlike a home, a commercial property will have wide entrances, and possibly, more glazing.

In a retail environment, some burglaries are committed by driving a vehicle straight into the storefront. This is dubbed a ‘ram raid’, and it can create massive amounts of damage. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to secure a property against ram raids, but some businesses place bollards in front of the windows to prevent an impact. You’ll need planning consent to have these installed, and if your property is rented, you will need to seek permission.

Even without a car, burglars often use heavy objects to smash windows. If locks are weak, or a poor fit, this makes the property more vulnerable. Always use the best locks you can afford, and make sure you have control over spare sets of keys.

Burglaries without forced entry

We often hear of homeowners being burgled through open doors and windows. Unfortunately, the same can happen in a business, particularly if staff have a habit of leaving doors open. It doesn’t take long for someone to spot a phone charging on a desk, hop through an open door and grab it.

Staff need to be aware that doors have to be closed, and anyone who they don’t recognised should be challenged. Biometric or keypad locks are a good alternative to key-operated doors if people are constantly coming in and out.

Making your business less attractive

One key way to make your business less appealing is to secure valuables that are left inside.

Purchase a good quality, fireproof safe and screw it to the wall and floor. Use this to store cash, cards, chequebooks and laptops. It may not prevent theft, but it will slow down the burglar as they work and make it much more likely they’ll make off with everything.

While your premises are unattended, cover up valuables; for example, in a shop, hide the alcohol from view. Remove display items from the window, and leave the till open so burglars can see there’s nothing left inside. If possible, change your habits so that all cash is banked at the end of each day. Angel Security can visit your premises and advise you on affordable burglar prevention strategies.