Armed robbery is a serious and dangerous crime that can happen at any time and any place. This crime happens because robbers believe that what they gain is well worth the risk that they are taking. But these crimes do not just happen unplanned. In most cases, criminals have been lurking for sometime around an establishment studying the setup and the situation. As business owners, you can decrease potential profit, increase the risk of apprehension, and reduce chances of becoming a target for these kinds of crimes.
Personal safety and business security are some important considerations on how you can prevent an armed robbery from happening in your business establishment. Here are some things that you or your people can do.
Make Direct Eye Contact as You Greet Customers
Greeting customers is not just about providing excellent customer service; it also means that you recognize them as they enter your store.
Be on Alert When Asked Probing Questions
It is usual for people to ask about your opening and closing hours. But when a customer or someone phones in to ask about your business alarm systems, number of employees on duty, or if you installed security doors and windows, it should raise some red flags. Refuse to answer these questions politely and smartly.
Maintain Store Visibility
There should also be ample visibility throughout the store. People outside should be able to see inside the store. This alone can deter some potential criminals from robbing your establishment. Make sure to install bright lighting in the interiors to allow people from outside to see the people inside your establishment.
Your store’s lighting should provide visibility, whether it is night or day. Replace busted bulbs promptly and illuminate dark areas around the building, such as the parking area. You may install motion sensor lights that flood the space with light when movements are detected.
Apart from lighting, be mindful of signs, displays, or decals that obstruct the view of the cashiers. Use concave mirrors to eliminate blind spots that are blocked by walls or shelves.
Maintain a Cash Control Program
Robbers are interested in getting your cash. Thus stores are encouraged to maintain a low cash policy in the register. Keep the smallest amount of cash on the premises as possible. And make sure that this effect is noted and visible to the customers.
Take Precautions When Opening and Closing the Store
Always have a buddy system in your store, especially during the opening and closing hours. Assign them to start with a visual check of the store premises before the daily opening routine. At closing, your employees should check all the back rooms, closets, restrooms, and other areas to ensure that no one remains inside. There should only be one person in charge of the keys on the side and back doors to ensure no undetected entries.
Invest in a Store Security Alarm System
Investing and installing a business security system is a perfect deterrent from crimes such as theft and robbery. These systems are monitored by an alarm company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company will notify the police when the alarms go off.
Security systems are customizable for various types of businesses. It would be best to seek professional guidance to have the best approach for your type of business.
Additionally, you can also install CCTV cameras around your store premises for added security and deterrent. It will be one of your tools to identify robbers in case of a robbery event. And lastly, post signs or stickers notifying everyone that your store is protected by an alarm security system and CCTVs are all around.
Armed robbery of any business or person can be a terrifying experience. It is all different than what you would see in the movies. These five tips should be commonplace in your stores to avoid becoming a target of armed robberies. Ideally, you can also train your employees on how to prevent and act in case a crime happens in the store. They should be aware and recognize if danger is imminent.
When it happens in real life, the danger becomes all too clear. One wrong move and it can cause life. In case of an armed robbery hold-up in your store, be cooperative and do what the robber says. Do not make any unexpected moves, and if possible, ask permission if you need to move. Do not be a hero; money can be replaced. Once the robbers are gone, activate the alarm and call 911.