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October 19, 2010

Organize a Business Watch During Crime Prevention Month

October is Crime Prevention Month - a time to spotlight successful crime prevention efforts on the local, state, and national levels. That includes Business Watch, which is modeled after the Neighborhood Watch concept. Business Watch seeks to reduce commercial crime and the fear of crime from both the customer's and the business owner's point of view.

The Texas Department of Insurance has published some key Business Watch concepts your business can use to help prevent crime:

  • Get to know the people who operate neighboring businesses - including schools, civic groups, libraries and clubs. Making personal contact is the best way to get acquainted.
  • Be alert and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement immediately, even if it means taking a chance on being wrong.
  • A phone tree is an effective means of sharing information with neighboring businesses. Should a problem develop, each business is responsible for calling one or two others on the tree.
  • Secure the property. Ask local law enforcement officials to conduct a security survey of the business. Ask for advice on lights, alarms, locks and other security measures.
  • Engrave all valuable office equipment and tools with an identification number - a tax ID, license or other unique number. Check with law enforcement officials for recommendations.
  • Aggressively advertise the Business Watch group. Post signs and stickers saying that your neighboring block of businesses is organized to prevent crime and will report suspicious activities to law enforcement.
Check with your Chamber of Commerce, business association or community association to find partners and support for your Business Watch program.


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