How Security Teams Can Leverage Crime Data to Protect Their Assets and Facilities
Whether you’re scouting for a new business location or assessing the safety of an existing one, corporate security professionals focused on keeping facilities, employees, visitors or other assets safe, need a way to better understand the geographical risks surrounding them.
A recent report by the Council on Criminal Justice revealed that robberies affecting businesses increased in 2022 compared to 2021 with nonresidential burglaries rising 11% and motor vehicle theft increasing 21% (up 59% when compared to 2019). With the increase in crime rates being a persistent and endemic problem in the United States, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to monitor or stay proactive around threats.
Teams seeking localized crime data insights are often having to gather information manually from different places, which is time-consuming and wasteful of security program resources – not to mention oftentimes inaccurate depending on the source. Even data found from reliable sources are often strictly for large cities or lack historical data amongst other details, limiting how teams can use the data.
Ensuring your team has access to validated, localized, and robust crime data sets is essential to conducting a comprehensive crime data analysis. Being able to view metrics and incident details can help teams make more informed decisions related to risk mitigation or provide insights for other business decisions.
Having the right crime data sets in place can help your security team with:
Resource Allocation: Crime data can help security teams allocate resources more effectively. By understanding the areas and types of criminal activity that pose the greatest threat to their company’s facilities, security professionals can determine if they need to adjust resources such as guard personnel, technology, and equipment more strategically. Additionally, having access to frequently updated crime data sets also allows teams to quickly adjust their security posture when trends are spotted for recent spikes in crime such as vandalism or break-ins.
Location Scouting: When deciding where to open a new facility, there are a lot of considerations from the physical security features of a building to finding a location in an area that is safe for employees and poses minimal risk to disruption of business operations. As teams conduct due diligence in evaluating a location, local crime statistics such as crime density paired with tools like heat mapping allows teams to easily visualize any hot spots or clusters of criminal activity at or around an area of interest.
Benchmarking Performance: By tracking data on crime rates over time, security professionals can assess the effectiveness of their security measures and identify areas for improvement. Benchmarking is an essential practice for teams to understand and compare their organization’s security posture against industry benchmarks and best practices. Through this exercise, security professionals can use ongoing and historical crime data to discern patterns and trends in criminal activity as well as potential vulnerabilities in their security measures.
Security Assessment Reports: Teams are often tasked with creating customized risk and security assessment reports to share insights related to a site. When performing an assessment with the right crime data sets, security professionals can use metric details such as the time of day when crime is at its highest or compare crime rates among multiple locations. This level of detail provides a deeper understanding of trends to help security teams build strong reports to advise on key business decisions. Security assessment reports are helpful for decisions such as closing an existing facility location due to an ongoing increase in crime over the last three years or choosing operating hours that are during the lowest crime activity for a specific area to ensure employee and visitor safety.
Beyond the safety of facilities, teams can also benefit from using crime data when evaluating risks associated with executive or employee travel, event planning, supply chain and logistics, and more. No matter the task at hand, security professionals must maintain a cohesive view of potential risks in proximity to individuals, specific locations, or other assets for a coordinated, proactive response. Having a crime data set for validated crime incidents integrated into your security program’s technology to view alongside other data sources helps establish greater situational awareness and provides proactive listening and real-time insights that are actionable for your team.
Want to see how you can leverage crime data in the Ontic platform? Request a demo to learn more.