Christmas brings various opportunities and risks to
different types of businesses. Some thrive and are exceptionally busy,
developing considerable increased income over a fairly short period of time.
Others are very quiet with clients not looking to start new projects or invest
in equipment leading up to the holiday period. Both of these scenarios bring
To the happy businessperson, working hard to maximise the
profits and sales at their peak time of the year, other aspects of their
business plan and risk management may lapse. For example, increased sales mean
an increased cash flow and so having robust banking procedures and ensuring staff
compliance is key to ensure they do not put themselves at risk. Busy retail
outlets may become a target for robberies, especially if banking procedures do
not include CVIT (Cash and Valuables in Transit). As an experianced security
consultant we advise it may be worth considering this service, even for a short
period of time to increase resilience. Christmas Eve is one of the busiest
shopping days of the year, but where does the cash go at the end of the day
when banks are closed for at least the next two days? Is it safe and is it
When staff are busy and potentially have revised sales
targets and bonus schemes, there may be a tendency to bypass procedures to save
time. This could lead to doors being left open, visitors or contractors not
being properly processed, key audits not being completed etc. At busy and
highly productive times it is more important than ever to follow procedures
stringently as the company may be targeted.
In addition, seasonal staff could be required and often the
normal HR processes are not fully applied in this area. Temporary staff are
only there for a few weeks and so present minimal risk, right? Wrong! These
staff have minimal loyalty to a company and are much more likely to steal or
provide information to a competitor.
On the other hand, businesses that are very quiet have a
different set of problems. Those that close down for two weeks over the holiday
period risk inviting burglars into their site. Burglars will often know the
sites that close down and can take their time in planning access, take
advantage of insecurities and poor security design or faulty systems. They may
even go back for a second helping if they don’t get everything the first time.
Christmas is a busy time of year for security consultants for a good reason!
It is therefore essential to have a meticulous and robust
lockdown process that is tested, followed and certified when complete by a
capable security consultant in the UK. This can include health and safety
elements as well as security such as the shutting down of machinery and removal
of combustibles. It is also a very good idea to schedule the annual service for
the security systems for early December so you can be confident that they are
performing optimally leading up to this high-risk time. At the very least, the
systems should be tested around two weeks prior to close down to allow time for
any faults or issues identified to be rectified.
This quiet time is also an ideal opportunity to check the
response and key holding procedures as well as the monitoring signal to ensure
that if something does happen over the closure period, then it can be dealt
with quickly and efficiently with minimal impact to the business.
Enjoy the Christmas festivities, but remain mindful as to risks that are presented. Dobson Owens Security Consultants “Putting security on the agenda, before it becomes the agenda”