Helping Make Your West Vancouver Business Safer

Business Watch is a free program aimed at reducing crimes in and against West Vancouver businesses.

West Vancouver Police Business Watch works to provide on-line tools, resources & information for owners, managers, and employees to help reduce business crimes and improve safety. 

Business Watch provides updated West Vancouver Crime Alerts, Prevention Advice, and the opportunity to connect with our Community Services Team to evaluate your business applying principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

We encourage you to regularly check our Business Watch Updates Page. We will provide updated analysis & details on Business Related Crime trends, prevention strategies, and updates on West Vancouver Police Initiatives to help enhance safety & property security for business.

Click HERE for Business Watch Prevention Updates.

Making your business a harder target for criminals can reduce your risk of loss and also help police apprehend offenders.

West Vancouver Police are proud to partner with residents and businesses to reduce crime and build a safer community.


Evaluate the layout of your business, employees, hiring practices and overall security. Assess your vulnerability to crimes from Burglary to Fraud. Contact the Community Services Team for more information on Crime Prevention Strategies.

Business Layout - Interior
Business Layout - Interior
  • Remove any items that obstruct you and your employees from seeing all store areas and place any expensive items in locked cases.
  • Install bars on doors and windows that trigger if the glass around them breaks. Use deadbolt locks.
  • Safely store important documents, including serial numbers for your computer equipment and merchandise, keys, alarm codes, files, licenses and permits, passwords, and payment receipts. If there is ever an unfortunate incident, you will be able to assess losses and provide helpful information to the police.
  • Remove any excess signage from windows and doors, allowing potential witnesses a better view of your business from outside.
  • Remove all expensive items from window displays at night.
  • Reduce the amount of cash you have on hand after hours. If you have money or other valuables, keep them in a safe affixed to the floor. Change the combination if a long-serving staff member leaves the job. Install and use a drop safe, which will allow you to store cash or documents without opening it.
  • Install an alarm system. It will deter burglars or, if they break in, it may force them to leave quickly when the alarm goes off. Post clear warnings that you have protected the premises with an alarm. Train staff to avoid false alarms.
Business Layout - Exterior
Business Layout - Exterior
  • Use exterior lighting to deter crime, increase police efficiency when patrolling the area after dark, and boost public willingness to report offences to the police.
  • Make sure your address is visible so emergency vehicles can easily find your business.
  • Keep nearby shrubs and trees pruned to increase visibility and decrease hiding spots on the property.
  • Check for signs of any structural weaknesses in your windows. Use heavy and solid construction material that is drill resistant. You can also reinforce the backs of doors with crossbars. Ensure door frames are strong enough to resist forced entry.
Parking Lots
Parking Lots
  • Ensure doorways and parking lots are well lit.
  • Paint underground walls white to increase visibility. Reduce hiding places for criminals and maximize visibility for patrols (or for potential witnesses). Keep exterior walls and foliage less than 3 feet high and trim any tree branches below 6 feet.
  • If the parking lot is large, installing emergency telephones that dial security or police directly may be helpful.
Break-In Prevention
Doors and Windows
  • Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Doors with glass should have double cylinder deadbolts.
  • Make sure you check all doors and windows each day before closing or when you are briefly absent.
  • Ensure individual keys issued to staff are recorded and returned when an employee leaves the company. You may even want to change locks and combinations when you have staff turnover.
  • If you have doors with outside hinges, use non-removable hinge pins. Install panel doors lined with metal to resist drilling.
  • Doors and windows on the sides and rear of a building often invite burglars because they are out of sight. Steel reinforced bars on doors and gratings or bars on windows provide high security.
  • Every exterior opening is a potential point of entry. Do not overlook security in places like fire escapes, skylights, roof openings, air ducts, windows above doors, loading docks, sidewalks, and basement openings.
  • Before you leave, check all potential hiding places, like bathrooms, closets, and storage areas.
  • If you are going away for a bit, request your business neighbour to remove uncollected flyers, papers, and mail from under doors or windows.
  • Leave information with neighbours on how to reach you, how long you will be away and if you are expecting someone at your business during your absence.
  • Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour.
  • Do not hide keys outside or leave signs that tell people when you will be back.
  • Keep the premises visible from the street; avoid blocking the view with high window displays or advertisements.
  • Trim all trees and shrubs around the entranceways.
  • Do not leave any ladders or tools lying around.
  • Light up all entrances with vandal-proof fixtures.
  • Keep interior lights on near the back so passersby can see an intruder's silhouette.
Alarm & Security Systems
Alarm & Security Systems
  • Install a good alarm system and have it checked regularly.
  • Consider intrusion sensors for all potential entry points, including doors, windows, roof openings, loading docks and vents.
  • A superior quality video surveillance system, with both visible & covert cameras can assist with detection & investigation of thefts
  • Ensure you & your key staff are trained & familiar with operation of the system
Cash On Site
Cash On Site
  • Keep as little cash around as possible. Make frequent bank deposits, but with a varied schedule to avoid indicating a scheduled pattern
  • Securely anchor your safe in a highly visible, well-lit location.
  • Empty your cash drawers and leave them open after hours.
Robbery Prevention
Be Calm & Observant

Your safety and that of your employees and customers are what is most important. If confronted by a suspect, stay calm and cooperate. Do not risk physical harm.

Learn to be a good observer. A detailed description is vital for the police, so memorize everything you can about the robber, such as:

  • Age
  • Complexion
  • Colour of hair/cut
  • Height and weight
  • Eyes and eyeglasses
  • Scars, marks, or tattoos
  • Facial hair
  • Clothing
  • Vehicle type, colour, make, license number
  • Direction of escape
  • Weapon
  • Right or left-handed

Do not compare notes with other witnesses. The best evidence you can provide is your own clear recollections & descriptions.

Be Cautious
Be Cautious

Try not to work alone, but if you must, leave a radio playing in a back room to create the impression that someone else is there.

  • If possible, arrange counters so that customers face the street in full view of people passing by.
  • Avoid turning your back on customers to answer the phone or manage paperwork.
  • Keep some money in your cash drawer with recorded dates and serial numbers of bills that can be traced if stolen.
Shoplifting Prevention
Be Watchful
  • Install convex mirrors, closed-circuit TV cameras or if your business merits it, use security officers.
  • Train your staff to spot shoplifters and make sure they are always on the lookout.
  • If possible, greet each person that enters your business and maintain eye contact, so they know you are aware of their presence.
  • Pay attention to fitting rooms and other isolated areas.
Floor Plan & Displays
Floor Plan & Displays

The way you arrange counters and displays can deter shoplifters:

  • Put displays in full view of all employees.
  • Lock up anything small that shoplifters can easily slip into their pockets or handbags.
  • Keep high value items away from entrances.
Call Police
Call Police
  • Shoplifters need to know that you are serious about Shoplifting. Ensure you contact the police if you catch someone shoplifting.

Contact WVPD Business Watch

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Contact Name
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Call 911 for a crime in progress. Call West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300 for a non-emergency response when:

  • Crimes have already occurred, and no suspects are present (e.g., theft, vandalism, fraud)
  • You notice suspicious persons, activity, or circumstances or nuisance behaviours
  • Hate crimes or hate incidents, including those with no safety risks, no physical evidence, and no identifiable suspects
  • Following up on a report you previously filed (have your police file number accessible)

Both numbers are available 24-hours a day.

You can also report non-emergency crimes online at An officer will be assigned to follow up.





Find out out to become a WVPD Police Member, join our Civilian Staff or Volunteer.


· Valid Canadian Driver’s Licence
· Valid BC Identification Card (with photo)
· Valid BC Services Card
· Valid Passport – Canadian or Foreign
· Valid Canadian Permanent Residency Card
· Current Canadian Student ID Card (for youth applicants ages 12-17) *secondary Gov’t issued ID required
· Canadian Birth Certificate
· Valid Canadian Citizenship Card
· Valid Canadian Certificate of Native Status Card
· Valid Nexus Card
· Employee Identification Card issued by the Federal, Provincial or Territorial Government (with photo)
· Old Age Security Identification Card
· Valid Firearms Licence
· Municipal or RCMP Police Identification (with photo only)