29/11/2002

Businesses urged to 'maintain vigilance' over Christmas

Police have advised businesses to be aware of the risk of incendiary devices being placed in shops and offices in the run up to Christmas.

As many retailers prepare for their busiest season, Chief Inspector Mark Mason, Force Crime Prevention Officer, warned about the dangers of being distracted from proper security procedures, and to take precautions and maintain vigilance.

He said: “We are asking businesses to pay special attention to the security of their premises, at this particularly busy time. There is no need to spell out the disruption, damage and potential risk to life if incendiary devices go undetected. We are asking all businesses to be vigilant and in particular to explain to staff the important role they have in protecting themselves, and the public, they are the eyes and ears of the business."

"Whilst this advice is particularly aimed at the risk posed by incendiary devices it is equally applicable to accidental fires, particularly in light of the present industrial action by the Fire service.”

Police are advising for business owners to undertake a realistic assessment of risk and take appropriate security measures.

Members of staff should also be aware of their role in protecting themselves, businesses and customers.

Plans should be developed for searching and evacuating the premises in the event of an emergency. The access into private areas should be monitored, paying particular attention to toilets.

And above all, police advise that businesses owners to constantly check their premises and test their security – "before someone else does".

(GMcG)

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