Business Watch

Keep Criminals Out of Your Business

It's a fact - the threat of crime is part of doing business. 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. Hardest hit of all are retail businesses, but statistics show that all small businesses suffer devastating effects from crime.

As a business owner, you are often told that the responsibility to prevent external and internal theft lies squarely with you. But what, exactly, can you do to create a safe, secure environment for your employees and your business?

Join the Lake Forest Business Watch Program

The City, in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, provides a Business Watch Program. For years, law enforcement has encouraged Neighborhood Watch programs in our neighborhoods. It has proven to be one of the most effective means available for keeping crime out of our neighborhoods. It relies on the best crime fighting tool ever invented - a good neighbor.

Business Watch is a free crime prevention program which enlists the active participation of business owners in cooperation with law enforcement to prevent crime in their community. It is a joint partnership between the City, Lake Forest businesses, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Why Business Watch? There can't be a law enforcement officer on every corner, so citizen involvement is essential to prevent crime. You and your fellow merchants are the ones who really know what is going on in your community. By cooperating with each other and the police, people can help fight crime in their community in the most effective way - before it begins! Business Watch members place stickers in their windows, warning criminals that they are in an active Business Watch Community, and that "merchants are watching out for each other."

It's Easy to Join

Simply download the "Business Watch Enrollment" document under Helpful Documents, complete the registration form, and fax it in! In a few weeks, a representative from the Orange County Sheriff's Department will come by your business and adhere a Business Watch sticker to your storefront window. In the event of a crime occurring at your business, deputies are able to retrieve your emergency contact information and contact you.

Getting everyone involved, employees as well as employers, will develop a comprehensive approach to safety for each individual business as well as the entire business community. Services provided by the Crime Prevention Unit to assist you in reaching these goals include:
  • Scheduled security surveys for individual properties
  • This will help you learn how to secure your business more effectively
  • Scheduled safety meetings and training sessions for your employees
  • Personal safety programs designated for all employees
  • Robbery procedures
Secure Your Business Against Crime

Remember crimes against businesses are usually crimes of opportunity. If you make it easy for someone to steal from you, chances are, someone will.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department would rather work with you to prevent crimes than spend time apprehending the criminals!