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During the unfortunate incidents in London and other major cities in the UK over the last few days many homes and businesses have been devastated by fire, theft or general malicious damage. If you have concerns that your property or business may be at risk over the coming days the following advice should help you minimise the risk of damage from riots or subsequent looting:

Liaison with your local police authority to gather the most up to date intelligence.

You should carry out an audit of your security to ensure that premises are adequately protected. Particular attention should be paid to the ground floor and basement level, but not forgetting windows, emergency escape doors and roof-lights accessible from external fire escape staircases, scaffolding and roofs of adjoining buildings.

Remember to brief your staff – aim to minimise opportunities for confrontation by discouraging doorstep cigarette breaks, avoid lunching out and instruct them to walk away from provocation.

Review your contingency plan so that you are prepared in the event of building damage, and for emergency repairs, boarding-up, cleaning-up operations, etc.

A lot of damage has been done by arson, to help prevent this you should make sure that all exteriors of buildings are cleared of combustibles and waste materials to which the public may have access.

Be particularly aware of any unusual or suspicious activity and ensure you maintain tight control over any entrances or exits to your property.

If you are unlucky enough to have been affected by these events we are here to help you. The majority of our policies will provide protection against any loss or damage caused by riot. Please follow the guidelines below:

Report any damage to the police at once as there is a 14 day limit for notification under the Riot Act 1886, obtain a crime reference number and inform them that you intend to make a claim against them for the cost of any loss or damage under the Act.

The Act places a responsibility on the Police Authority for any damage caused by riot. The Act defines Riot as “when 12 or more people have gathered to use or threaten violence for a common purpose”. It may be that police authorities will not accept that the damage you report is as a result of “riot”, however, it is important you make the intention to claim under this Act clear at the time you notify the police of any damage, from thereon we will take on any recovery action on your behalf.

Having reported the matter to the police, please contact us on 0845 603 8381 immediately, we are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our recommended supplier, Solaglas, are prioritising boarding and make safe works. They can be contacted directly on 0800 474747.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg. No. 24869. This company is registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ, UK. EIO is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service and Association of British Insurers.

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