Vacant Portsmouth shops at risk of break-ins and damage, warn police

RETAILERS across Portsmouth must take extra caution to keep their businesses safe during the coronavirus pandemic, a police inspector has warned.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 8:33 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 1:51 pm

The majority of retailers in the city have closed due to government guidelines on how to combat Covid-19, meaning many shops now sit dormant.

But Inspector David Sanderson from Hampshire Constabulary says these retailers are now vulnerable to attacks, break-ins and illegal occupancy.

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Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘With retailers closed there is an increased risk of attacks on empty premises.

‘Your property is at risk of being illegally occupied or damaged which can be expensive and time consuming to clear.

‘It is important that you focus on the risks to your premises and regularly review your security.’

To give these businesses a helping hand, the police have compiled a list of things entrepreneurs can do to secure their sites.

These range from reviewing access to buildings to employing a security guard to deter would-be occupiers.

Insp Sanderson added: ‘Look for vulnerabilities in the space between the perimeter, any outbuildings and the main building.

‘Some buildings have been targeted for illegal raves on account of having large rooms inside – so if these have entrance doors secure them.

‘If the site is closed, you can prohibit vehicular access to the entrance or boundary by securing it with heavy duty concrete blocks or bollards.’

Anyone who sees anything suspicious should call Hampshire police on 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999.