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Rising Crime: A Concern for Small Businesses in Western Canada

Posted by Joe Wilson

Feb 15, 2024 8:48:00 AM

Rising crimeA recent report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has claimed that small businesses in Western Canada - the heart and soul of many neighbourhoods - are calling for more work to be done to address crime and better improve community safety. 

The report - Crime & Safety in Western Canada: The Small Business Perspective - found that 41 percent of small businesses in Western Canada consider crime and safety a big challenge, compared to only a quarter in the rest of the country.

In fact, since nearly half (45 percent) of Western Canadian small businesses have been either directly or indirectly impacted by safety issues, with another third (32 percent) reporting themselves as ‘on edge’ about the prospect of crime, this feeling is warranted. 

In contrast, only 28 percent of small businesses in the rest of Canada have faced community safety issues.

The report reads: “Across Canada, but particularly in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, small businesses are facing a unique set of challenges. Vandalism, theft, waste, loitering, and public intoxication have become major concerns for small business owners. These aren’t just problems on a balance sheet; they are heartfelt struggles embedded into the lives of those small business owners who serve their communities day in and day out.” 

In response to community safety challenges, Western Canadian small business owners are spending more money on security (62 percent), changing the way they operate (42 percent), and providing safety training for their employees (25 percent).

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So, with this recent report in mind, what are some steps that you - as a small business owner - can take to better protect your business and your employees? Here are a few tips to help:

Invest in a Verified Alarm System

Verified alarm systems are crucial for immediate and accurate crime detection. These systems, which use audio or video verification, offer real-time evidence of a break-in, ensuring that law enforcement responds more quickly and effectively. By using a verified system, you’re reducing the chances of false alarms and ensuring a faster police response when it really matters.

Set Up a Community Watch Program

Joining or establishing a community watch program can significantly enhance neighbourhood security. Such programs encourage businesses to look out for each other, share information about suspicious activities, and maintain regular communication with local law enforcement. This collective vigilance can deter criminals who often target isolated or less monitored businesses.

Focus on Employee Training and Awareness 

Educating your employees on security protocols is essential. This includes training on how to spot suspicious behaviour, safely handle a robbery, and protect personal and customer data. Regular drills and discussions on security procedures can keep safety at the forefront of your employees' minds.

Control All Access Points to Your Business

Limiting access to your business can prevent unauthorized entry. Use a managed access control system for employee entry to valuable rooms, and ensure that all entry points are secure. Keep track of who enters and exits your business, and ensure sensitive areas are only accessible to trusted staff.

Conduct Regular Security Audits 

Conducting security audits helps identify vulnerabilities in your current security setup. This could involve checking the effectiveness of locks, alarms, and surveillance systems, and evaluating employee adherence to security protocols. Regular updates to your security measures can adapt to new threats and changing circumstances.

Engage With Your Local Community 

Active engagement in community events and local business associations can build a supportive network. This network can act as a source of information and support, helping to deter crime. Community involvement also fosters a sense of collective responsibility for safety and security.

Not sure where to start or what your next step is? Contact Sonitrol Western Canada today. Our team of small business security experts are ready to help you implement a security solution that protects your business and its employees. 

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Topics: Crime Prevention Tips, Small Business Security

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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