Employees and Crime
Employees can either help you make money or help you lose it. That’s why when you are trying to secure your business, you should not only look at things like alarm systems, but also at the people who work with or around you.
- Construct stock control procedures. This way, all merchandise entering and exiting your premises should be accounted for.
- Screen employees carefully before hiring them. Check their backgrounds to be sure they have not been fired for behaviour you find is dangerous or unacceptable.
- Make sure staff are trained in correct cash handling and security measures. Set rules regarding cash on hand and stick by it.
- Show employees you care about them and their property. Research shows that employees steal from businesses that are impersonal to them and lack clear policies.
- Make sure you provide secure places in which the staff may place their own belongings.
Businesses are robbed ten times more often than individuals, but logic common sense can reduce the chances of becoming a victim as well as the amount of money lost if you’re robbed. Take this quiz to assess your vulnerability to robbery.
CASH: Do you
- keep only small amounts on hand and advertise this fact?
- make frequent bank deposits?
- have a drop safe or time delay safe?
- vary your deposit time and route?
- count cash only in a private area?
LIGHTS, LOCKS, ALARMS: Do you
- have exterior and interior lighting that allows visibility into the store from the street?
- have an emergency alarm system that works?
- have a buddy system signal with a neighboring store in case suspicious persons enter?
- keep seldom used doors and windows locked at all times?
- use mirrors, cameras, or one way glass to observe all areas of the store?
EMPLOYEES: Is there
- more than one person to open and close?
- careful screening before hiring?
- care taken to have employees notify police about loiterers who may be “casing” the store?
- training on how to handle a robbery situation and effectively report it to the police?
- arranged your stock to allow clear visibility in the store?
- set up a signal for the police patrol officer in case of problems?
- arranged for a risk analysis security survey with the local police or sheriffs department?
Where you answered “NO,” take corrective action now!
If Confronted By A Robber….
- Stay as calm as possible. Try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
- Consider your well-being and that of your employees as the highest priority. Don’t escalate the incident into a violent confrontation in which someone may be injured or killed.
- Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of the robber(s): age, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
- After the robber leaves, call police immediately.
Burglary is a property crime that occurs when the business is closed. The burglar may enter through any opening (door, window, air conditioning vent, skylight) or even create one through an interior shared wall or an outside wall. Reduce your risk as much as possible. Burglary is a crime of opportunity that can be prevented.
Surveillance and Security are Critical
Lighting. Install bright interior and exterior lighting to make all openings visible from both the outside and the inside of the store.
Locks and Safes. Purchase high quality door locks and use them. Roller-doors, bars or other visible things over openings such as windows are ofter good deterrents.
Entry Control. Know who has a key and restrict access to the front door. Rekey locks annually if you have high turnover of employees or even consider an access control system rather than keys.
Intrusion Alert. Install a good quality alarm system to detect unauthorized entry.
Windows. Consider burglary resistant glass in accessible areas. Unbreakable polycarbonate may work even better, particularly if you have high value items in window displays.
Environment. Keep areas around the store clean to aid visibility. Display your most valuable articles furthest away from entry points of the store to force a burglar to take the longest possible escape route. Keep merchandise displays organized to allow maximum visibility throughout the store. Check cupboards and toilets before you lock up. You don’t need an unwanted visitor staying inside your store after closing hours.