Keep burglars out of your business

Small business theft

There are a number of inexpensive yet effective ways to deter burglars and keep your business more secure.

Sound the alarm

Statistics show more than 70 per cent of burglaries happen at night, making it important for businesses to have CCTV and alarms fitted to help deter and catch offenders.

Tips to protect your business and valuables:

  • Display and post warning signs so intruders know about your security features
  • Install a monitored alarm system or CCTV which can act as a deterrent and greatly assist police officers to identify offenders, so ensure your equipment covers multiple angles
  • Secure entries and exits and consider installing security screens for added protection
  • Mark your property with the name of your business or Australian Business Number so police can easily identify property if its recovered
  • Make safes safer by securely fixing them to a floor, wall or similar solid object
  • Never leave cash on premises overnight.

Lock away other highly sought after items that are easy to grab and easy to sell. Put burglars in the spotlight

A sudden bright light might make a burglar think twice.

  • Install sensor lights outside that turn on with movement to deter burglars or help to identify burglars caught on CCTV and potentially assist with prosecution
  • Check lighting in nearby laneways, car parks and other external areas
  • Arrange internal lighting so anyone on the inside can be seen by people in the area.

Team up with surrounding businesses

Canberra has many small shopping centres with businesses that close at different times. If you’re a small business, it could be worthwhile to team up with neighbouring businesses to consider security measures for mutual benefit.


To help slow the spread and rate of transmission of COVID-19 there has been a lot of change to the way businesses operate across Canberra. If you aren’t operating from your usual premise, are open for reduced hours or you’ve temporarily closed, implementing the steps above will help to minimise the risk of a break-in.

Bag checks

There is no specific legislation dealing with a business owner’s right to check a customer’s bag or search a person. You can set conditions of entry such as presenting bags and parcels for checking by staff. A customer is under no legal obligation to allow a search of their bag so display conditions of entry in a prominent place to encourage compliance.

Tips to reduce shoplifting:

  • Acknowledge your customers and keep them in view at all times, especially when you are distracted like using your yourphone
  • Keep keys secure and do not leave them on a counter or desk
  • Move attractive and expensive items away from entry or exit points
  • Never leave the shop unattended
  • Put away merchandise promptly and be familiar with the stock you have.

ACT Keyholder Register

The ACT Keyholder Register is a list of the names and after-hours contact details of business owners or others who have access to your business premises.


Business security information in the form of BizSafe Factsheets (PDF 1,044KB) are available for:

Reporting incidents to police

If you are a victim of business burglary, follow these steps:

  • Contact ACT Policing immediately to file a report. You will need a copy of the police report and/or a case number to provide to your insurance company. You may also be asked to provide the following information:
    • Time of offence and witnesses
    • Description of offender
    • Footage, if you have cameras
    • Weapon used to gain entry and any evidence at the scene.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim.


  • Police Assistance on 131 444 to report a crime that is NOT life threatening or a time critical emergency  
  • Triple Zero 000 in an emergency or life-threatening situation
  • Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report information about illegal activity, suspicious activity or information which may assist in solving a crime.


ACT Policing Online News

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