Police today warned business owners to take extra precautions to protect their premises during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford said today that business closures or reduced hours meant fewer “eyes on the street” to spot and report suspicious activity.

The commercial sector shoud to cash and receipts from their registers and to leave them open to underline that they are empty, he said.

Charity boxes, safes and cash boxes with floats should be removed if possible and safes that cannot be moved should be left empty.

Other valuables, including computers, should be removed and taken home. High-value goods on display should locked up.

Mr Glasford also advised businesses to ensure that all entrances are secured.

Roller shutters, if fitted, should be lowered as anything that could be used to gain entry, like bricks, ladders or metal poles.

Local businesses without shutters should keep interior and exterior lights on at night, so that police patrols can see inside buildings.

Posters or display racks should also be removed from the windows to give an unobstructed view.

An “all valuables and cash removed” sign should be placed in a prominent spot outside businesses, Mr Glasford added.

Business owners were also advised to check the emergency contact list for alarm activation, which is currently up to date.