GTA business survey reveals heightened security concerns

Crime is common thread in companies' top three security priorities

TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Protecting property, and preventing vandalism, break-ins and theft, together represent the top security concern of GTA businesses that have security personnel, according to a comprehensive survey conducted by The Strategic Counsel on behalf of Commissionaires Great Lakes, a leading security organization. Rounding out the top three security concerns are preventing unauthorized access, and protecting people, respectively.

In one of the only GTA-focused studies of its kind, the survey examined a broad range of security-related issues, including the importance of security, the growth in security spending in the last five years, the impact of the recession on security, and the role technology plays in meeting security needs.

"Business leaders make decisions based on expertise and evidence. We have the expertise, but saw that there was a huge gap in the market research available to help organizations assess and address their security challenges. It just made sense for us to fill that gap," noted Jim Watts, CEO, Commissionaires Great Lakes. "With this study, we now have a clear and current analysis of business security issues in the GTA."

One important area examined through this survey is the effects of the recent economic downturn. The study revealed that the impact of the recession on security spending was not as pronounced as expected. In fact, 40 percent of the businesses surveyed actually invested more in security during in the last five years while only 5 percent lowered security spending.

    Other survey highlights include the following:

    -   The top three security concerns identified by those surveyed are:
        1. Protecting property/preventing vandalism, break-ins, theft    49%
        2. Preventing unauthorized access                                18%
        3. Protecting people/ensuring safety                             15%

    -   98% of respondents consider security to be somewhat or very important
    -   11% report that the recession increased the importance of security
    -   40% spent more on security in the last five years, while only 5%
        spent less
    -   75% of respondents contract security rather than hire them as staff

    -   Top six reasons for employing/contracting security personnel:
        1. Preventing break-ins                                          92%
        2. Checking out problems on the premises                         86%
        3. Ensuring customer/client safety                               76%
        4. Ensuring emergency preparedness                               75%
        5. Monitoring visitors to the premises                           74%
        6. Ensuring employee safety                                      66%

    -   Top three selection criteria when contracting security:
        1. The security firm's reputation                                94%
        2. Price                                                         92%
        3. The firm's understanding of today's security realities        87%

"The research certainly shows that security remains a high priority for GTA businesses," commented Michael Sullivan, a partner in The Strategic Counsel, the research firm that conducted the study. "Clearly, investing in security is an important cost of doing business in this city."

About the survey

The telephone survey of 189 businesses in the GTA was conducted by The Strategic Counsel, a leading market research firm. The sample size yields a margin of error +/-7.3% 19 times out of 20.

About Commissionaires

Commissionaires was founded to provide meaningful employment for former Canadian Forces and RCMP personnel. The organization has long been recognized as Canada's premier security provider, protecting people and property for public and private sector clients from coast to coast. While employing leading-edge technology in delivering security services, Commissionaires has remained true to its roots by providing employment to those making the transition to civilian life after active service in the military and police forces. The organization also hires many reliable and responsible individuals without military or police experience. Commissionaires' services and security solutions include: security guarding, enforcement, identification services, training and security consulting. The integrity, strong work ethic, proven skills and discipline of Commissionaires give clients confidence and security everyday, everywhere.

SOURCE Commissionaires

For further information: For further information: Donna D'Arcy, Commissionaires, T (416) 364-4496 x444, C (416) 458-0276,,

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