Business Watch program can help protect your business from vandalism

Burglary and vandalism is typically committed in areas that cannot be observed by others and during evening hours. Business Watch programs, similar to Neighborhood Watch groups, seek to reduce commercial crime and fear of crime for both business owners and their clientele.

To get started, contact your local Chamber of Commerce. They can give you information on The Small Business Crime Prevention Guide, published by the Texas Department of Insurance, offers the following ideas to help business owners prevent crime:

  • Get to know neighboring businesses and occupants including schools, civic groups, libraries, and clubs.
  • Be alert and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement immediately, even if it means taking a chance on being wrong.
  • A telephone tree is an effective means of sharing information with neighboring businesses. Should a problem develop, each business is responsible for calling others on the tree.
  • Secure your property thoroughly. Ask local law enforcement officials to conduct a survey of your business and provide advice on lights, alarms, and other security measures.
  • Engrave all valuable office equipment and tools with an identification, tax, license, or other unique number.
  • Aggressively advertise the Business Watch group. Post signs and stickers stating that the neighboring block of businesses is organized to prevent crime. Keep in mind, a sign is just a sign unless there is action to enforce its message.
Additionally, do an assessment of lighting around your building. Replace blown out bulbs as soon as possible and increase lighting to enhance visibility in dark areas of your property.

If there is a Business Watch sign posted in your area, do you know if the group is still active? By revitalizing the Business Watch Program, you can take steps to reduce the possibility of criminal activity in your area.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.