This article deals with different aspects relating to how SMEs in the city and urban surroundings of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) go about creating a more secure environment. Security and criminality appear to be important issues for them. One-third of the entrepreneurs do not feel particularly safe at their current location. Robbery and burglary are the most important threats. Additional locks and alarm installations are the measures that are taken the most frequently to combat crime. The security issue has an important role to play when it comes to possible plans to move to a new location, thus being an important external factor which can only partially be dealt with. Some interesting sector, location and firm size effects emerged. Strikingly, these differences do not lead to any significant differences in the levels of investment in security measures: the general investment in security is about 1 per cent of a firm's sales. Copyright © 2004 SAGE Publications.