No business has the money to lose or the time to spend on court cases that a robbery will also take. More importantly, no business wants their employees or ordinary customers to be put in harm’s way. We recently looked at 10 important robbery prevention tips for businesses (from CCTV and back to base alarm monitoring to simple cleaning!), but found that we couldn’t include all the important tips in just one article. Here we continue our guide to robbery prevention for businesses, with 10 tips that the police force consider most valuable.
Even 24 hour businesses should have back to base alarm monitoring
- Even if your doors are always open, back to base alarm monitoring can be zoned so that certain parts of your business (cash room, offices etc) can be alarmed while the service area is not. Also, you can have special duress alarm codes programmed for your cash storage areas – these alert the monitoring company that an employee has been forced to open the safe.
- Watch for people watching your business …
Robberies are rarely carried out without checking out a premises first. Teach your staff to watch for people loitering outside and checking out the business, or spending a great deal of time inside on a purchase that shouldn’t require much thought. Any suspicious actions can be reported to police – if they are unable to attend, write down a thorough description of the person and follow them outside to get their numberplate. This will assist in identifying them if a robbery occurs.
- Tell employees about your alarm system
Some businesses resist telling employees about a back to base alarm system. However, for their safety, all employees should know how, when and when not to activate a back to base alarm.
- Look for ‘safe’ technology for your safe
Dual key, time-delay and drop mechanisms for your cash safe make it hard to access cash. Make sure that you have prominent signage relating that staff cannot easily access the cash, to actually help deter them as well as protect your money.
- Customer service for robbery prevention!
Teach your staff to always greet new customers walking in with a smile and a direct look in the eyes. If a robber feels they could be identified, they will think twice about carrying out their plans. This is most effective when backed up by things like CCTV camera systems through your back to base alarm company, height stickers next to the door, etc.
- Consider physical barriers
If you run a high risk business like a bank or service station, consider installing pass-through barriers between the customer area and the service staff area.
- ‘Sweep’ the business before closing
One closing procedure should be a check of all business areas to ensure nobody is hiding inside. This should be immediately followed by activation of your back to base alarm system.
- Train employees in safe cash handling
Your local police station may be able to run a training session on safe cash handling procedures, such as regularly clearing the till, counting money in a non-visible area, using two people to transport money within the store, moving money in daylight hours (but varying the precise time of day) and disguising the cash bag as something else.
- Encourage card payment
Remove fees on EFTPOS and credit card transactions to discourage cash payments.
- Teach employees to protect themselves first
Some employees feel it is part of their duty to protect the business from thieves, and can put themselves in harm’s way because of this. Teach them to activate the panic button of the back to base alarm first, then get themselves as far away as possible. Let them know their health is worth far more than a bit of cash!
A back to base alarm system and CCTV camera systems are at the heart of good robbery prevention as well as bringing a robber to justice. Without them, your cash and employees are in serious danger.