‘Tis the Season to Step Up Security: Holiday Crime in a Pandemic

Get ready for a holiday season unlike any other. It’s gearing up to be a season of unknowns as businesses coast-to-coast work through uncharted territory, trying to balance the holiday shopping rush with COVID-19 safety protocols.

As if we don’t have enough to juggle, a “perfect storm” for holiday crime could be brewing: the annual pressure people feel to spend lots of money on holiday gifts, compounded by a struggling economy and the fact that many businesses are struggling, understaffed and under-protected.

With businesses stocking up on pricey inventory for the holidays, is a spike in holiday crime on the way? Only time will tell, but businesses can’t wait – the time to take a proactive security approach is now.

Holiday Pressure Mounting

Traditionally, the pressure to “spend, spend, spend” mounts as Black Friday nears, officially kicking off the holiday shopping season. In fact, a Bankrate survey found that two in five Americans felt pressured in recent years to overspend on holiday gifts.

And while the pandemic may reduce the amount of in-person shopping this season, retailers and warehouses will still need to stock up for potentially record-breaking online sales.

While we won’t understand the full impact of a struggling economy and high unemployment rates on holiday crime for several months, the pandemic has already had an impact.

A University of Pennsylvania study published in July looked at 25 major U.S. cities and found that while violent crime dropped since the pandemic’s onset, burglaries in commercial spaces rose nearly 30%. UPenn also found that car theft has risen – with Philadelphia reporting the worst increase, experiencing car theft at rates 2.5 times higher than before the pandemic.

And while the economy has showed signs of recovery, it’s been an uphill battle. With stimulus talks stalled in Congress and additional unemployment benefits running out months ago, millions of Americans will be without a paycheck to end the year.

And this won’t be resolved anytime soon. The Department of Labor reported that 898,000 Americans filed for unemployment the week of October 10th, up 54,000 from the previous week. And September’s unemployment rate hovered right around 8%.

Peace of Mind with Pro-Vigil

Artificial intelligence surveillance camera

The final element of the “perfect crime storm” is the fact that many businesses today are struggling. The pandemic has slowed sales, so they need to find ways to avoid further losses from crime, without incurring large expenditures on security guards, or paying overtime to employees to hang around off hours.

Many will decide to cross their fingers and hope nothing bad happens, which opens opportunities for would-be criminals. With Pro-Vigil’s remote video monitoring service, it’s possible to implement real-time crime deterrence without breaking the bank, so the holidays remain a season to be jolly!

Contact Pro-Vigil today to step up your security strategy today.

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