News Round Up | Risk | Threat/Hazard

Top News in the Security and Risk Industry — May 2020

May 29, 2020 | 3 min read
Top News in the Security and Risk Industry May 2020 scaled

There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.

Some crimes are spiking in major U.S. cities, but murder is down

From Bloomberg: Amid empty streets and shuttered shops, crime rates in some of the biggest U.S. cities have dropped — with a few exceptions. Car thefts and store robberies are spiking in some municipalities even as crime overall — especially violent offenses — dropped in 10 of the 20 most populated cities, more than halving in San Francisco alone, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of data from 10 major cities.

Our take: Crime has been changing during the coronavirus pandemic, and in many cases for the better, despite thousands of non-violent offenders being released from prison. Some cities, like Miami, are doing only the lightest of police work to reduce personal contact and still seeing no rise in crime. Others, like New York are seeing a rise in auto theft. Most are seeing murder and assault rates drop. This may not be permanent, but the data from these months may help police reduce crime rates in the future.

Heavily Armed Protesters Gather Again At Michigan Capitol To Decry Stay-At-Home Order

From NPR: Despite heavy rain, armed protesters gathered Thursday May 14 at the State Capitol in Michigan in what the organizing group, Michigan United for Liberty, has branded “judgment day.” This was the third planned demonstration since Michigan has been under a stay-at-home-order from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Our take: As the lockdown has stretched on, frustrated people have protested stay-at-home orders in various ways. Recently, this has taken the form of armed protests in Michigan and in other state capitols. While being able to protest is a right, heavily armed protesters — as well as those who are not wearing masks during a pandemic — are a serious security concern. We would like to see state capitols take steps to make sure their employees and legislators are safe while they do their jobs.

Michigan man arrested after wiping face on store clerk who told him to wear a mask

From USA Today: A 68-year-old Michigan man is expected to face charges after he was captured on surveillance video wiping his nose and face on a Holly, Michigan Dollar Tree employee’s sleeve rather than wear a mask. According to the Holly Police Department, the suspect walked past door signs indicating all customers entering the store were required to wear a face mask and reacted when a young female clerk reminded him of the new store policy. “Here, I will just use this as a mask,” the suspect said as he wiped his face on the clerk’s sleeve.

Our take: As the pandemic continues, more disgruntled people like this one are likely to start using the virus itself (or at least their own bodily fluids) as a weapon. This is not only disgusting; it’s dangerous. If a customer coughs on an employee and that customer later becomes sick and dies, that’s murder. If you own a business, especially one that’s open or reopening, make sure your employees are masked, shielded if possible, and as safe as possible from angry customers.

Women dressed as nurses are stealing packages off porches in Washington state, police say

From USA Today: Two women dressed as nurses are allegedly stealing packages from front porches in Washington state amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to local authorities.

The Kennewick Police Department posted on Facebook photos of the women wearing scrubs, rubber gloves and what appear to be lanyards with identification.

Investigators, however, do not believe the women are nurses and are asking the public to help to identify the women.

Our take: The two faux nurses in Washington aren’t the only package thieves making headlines. There’s currently a spree of package thefts in Ohio, North Carolina, and in Oklahoma, lawmakers are working on a bill to stiffen penalties for package theft. It’s no surprise that porch piracy has increased. More people are relying on the mail to deliver supplies, while leaving packages outside for fear of contamination. While it’s important to keep safe, it may be wiser to bring packages in immediately, discard the packaging and then wash your hands, or if you have space, quarantine them in an enclosed area of your home.

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