Business Burglary – What you need to know

We have been made aware of some business burglaries taking place in the Quarter and in the wider area. Examples include a window of a store being smashed to steal products and someone entering an office building via ‘tailgating’ to steal laptops. Both examples are very different but show that any type of businesses can be vulnerable  

Common tactics and how to mitigate risk 


This is a regular tactic used by criminals where someone gains unauthorised access to a business to steal equipment. Tailgating is commonly used to bypass security features such as locked doors or access control barriers.  

In its simplest form, tailgating is when someone follows a legitimate member of staff or a visitor through a locked door or gate. Many electronically controlled doors (where staff require a code, key fob or key card) have a few seconds of delay before locking again, allowing someone to gain access directly after a staff member has passed through the door.  Sometimes it is made even easier for offenders when a staff member holds a door open for the someone that it not employed by the company. That person then has access to the building and can proceed to steal items before making a quiet exit.  

At its core, the tactic of tailgating relies on people’s manners, or their unwillingness to challenge an unusual situation. It is important that all members of staff are made aware of these risks, and protocols are put in place to ensure that anyone trying to enter a locked door should have the necessary key, and that they are not letting anyone without a key through the door. Seeming slightly rude for not holding a door for someone is much better than allowing a criminal into the building.  

Any unusual activity should be reported to building security, or the police if necessary. Consider regular training sessions for staff on this subject, Baker Street Quarter Partnership can offer support.  

Forced Entry 

Many people’s first thought when they hear the word ‘burglary’ is where someone has used force to bypass security systems intended to keep trespassers out. A security system can mean anything from a simple door to a specialised reinforced cage.  

‘Smash and Grabs’ are a good example of this, where someone smashes a window of a store to steal items within. This can also apply to other types of businesses such as office buildings or hotels, where criminals will break down a door, jimmy open a security shutter, or even drive a car through an entry point.  

Whilst it is impossible to ever completely prevent criminals from forcing their way into a premises, there are steps than can be taken to make your business premises an unattractive target to criminals. Read the Metropolitan Police’s advice on ‘Keeping burglars out of your business’ for an in depth list of key areas of focus. These include: 

  • Making sure any service doors are locked and secure when not in use; 
  • Making sure you have a monitored alarm and that it’s fully operational; 
  • Making sure your CCTV is operational, provides facial recognition as well as good quality images and covers any vulnerable areas (CCTV that is visible to people also acts as a deterrent); 
  • Making sure there is sufficient lighting around the premises, especially loading areas; 
  • Doors and windows are particularly vulnerable – use security-rated products to make them more burglar-resistant.

Crime Reporting 

It is vital that all incidents of theft, burglary, or robbery in or from businesses are reported to the Police. This can be done via 999 in an emergency, or 101 or online in a non-emergency situation.  

Do not worry about what to call the incident when contacting the Police, just give them the facts and secure any evidence, the Police will assign a crime type to it when they attend.  

If your businesses experiences any type of crime, even if it was unsuccessful, please do report it to the Police. If the crime statistics show a particular area has become a hotspot for non-residential burglary for example, the Police will deploy more resources to that area to help combat the problem. If crimes are not reported, unfortunately they will not have information to enable them to do this. Please inform the Baker Street Quarter Partnership of any crime related issues as well. We work closely with the Police and Safer Business Network to identify and address key issues, hotspots and offenders. Our Street Safety Team patrol the area from Monday to Sunday and act as a deterrent to crime and anti-social behaviour.  

We too rely on incident reports and crime statistics to inform our programmes and resources so please inform us of any issues to help us make sure we are supporting you in the right areas. If you are interested in getting access to a secure intelligence sharing platform, paid for by BakerStreetQ and provided by Safer Business Network, please contact us.  

The BakerStreetQ’s Street Safety Team can be contacted on 07456 673895, via the radio network and on