Business Watch is a community-based program that helps business owners and managers take control of crime in their community. The National Sheriff’s Association states that crimes against businesses are usually crimes of opportunity. A Business Watch program can help make crime against your business risky and unrewarding.
No business is immune from the growing menace of burglary, robbery, shoplifting, personal assaults, internal thefts, check forgery, and computer and credit card fraud. Studies have shown that at least 30% of all small business failures are the result of losses from crime. They also show that crime drops up to 40% when the Business Watch signs go up.
Business Watch is a network of neighboring businesses working with the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office to:
- promote communication and understanding between law enforcement and the business community
- encourage cooperation between neighboring merchants;
- teach merchants to crime-proof their own properties and to watch over neighboring businesses and report any suspicious activity to authorities;
- develop a telephone tree system for quick dissemination of information regarding criminal activity in the area
Encourage the development of signals to activate in adjacent businesses when someone needs help.
The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office is contacting local business owners about organizing Business Watch in the community. If you are interested in taking a lead in this effort, please call Sgt. J. Graves at (540)245-5333.