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Retail Burglary

The maximum penalty for burglary is 14 years imprisonment.

A person is guilty of burglary if they:

Enter any building or part of a building as a trespasser with the intention to steal, inflict GBH, or cause unlawful damage, or having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser they steal, inflict or attempt to inflict GBH.

Reference: Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968.



Burglary of commercial premises is not uncommon. Commercial premises can contain high value merchandise or technology, and additionally tends not to be occupied overnight making them even more vulnerable.

The following measures will greatly reduce the risk of commercial burglary of retail premises:-

  • Ensure that the entry and exit points are secure and restrict access to the flat roofs, and to large drainpipes or other climbing aids.
  • Consider external lighting which utilises motion detection.
  • Strengthen the doors and windows using quality materials as advised in your insurance policy.
  • Install a sturdy safe with a time lock, which has been bolted to the floor and the wall in the office.
  • Ensure your alarm system is NACOSS approved and monitored. It sends a signal to an alarm receiving centre for police action if necessary.
  • Install a colour digital CCTV system. Use it to monitor the whole of the premises, it's easy to download quality images.
  • Regularly empty the till during the day and never leave money on the premises overnight or when the shop is closed. At night leave a light on with the till drawer open, visible and empty.
  • Repeat burglary victims should consider specialist counter burglary equipment.(CLICK HERE)

Home Office Business and Retail Crime Advice The Home Office website has a business and retail crime section which offers useful burglary advice.

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