Making a Robbery More Difficult
Separate key holders.
You can reduce the chance of a successful robbery by ensuring that different staff members are responsible for holding different keys, particularly by separating the shop key holder and the safe key holders. For this to have any deterrent effect potential robbers need to be told of this policy.
If you comply with a robber’s demands by handing over cash bags filled with low denomination coins ready for just such an emergency, you may get away with only minimal loss during a robbery.
If you are in a high risk area, you are more vulnerable to attack if you keep late opening hours, because of the cover darkness provides; the fewer the number of passers-by and the fewer shops open for robbers to target. If you are a late-opener you could try to organise that other retailers open late as well.
Closed Circuit Television.
Consider installing closed circuit television cameras to record all who enter the store or the vulnerable areas of your shop. If you make it clear to everyone that you use them you may deter robbers. To increase the chances of video evidence being used to get a conviction, you need good quality equipment and recordings need to be date and time ‘stamped’. It would help if you site cameras low enough to get a clear rather than a foreshortened picture.
Panic alarms can be linked via an intruder alarm system to summon police assistance. These can be activated by foot or hand switches, or within till drawers by, for example, removing the last note from a money clip. Again, you must make it clear to potential thieves that this kind of alarm is in place. Ask your local crime prevention officer for advice. Also consider installing less sophisticated alarms (‘doorbells’ or personal attack alarms) that can summon help from the public, other parts of the store or other shops.
The presence of trained, uniformed security staff is likely to deter less ‘professional’ robbers but the cost can make such an option impractical and you must ensure that these staff are properly recruited and trained.
Air-lock entry system.
If your premises are located in a high risk area, you may consider installing double entry doors which allow staff to restrict entry. Robbers can be effectively trapped in the ‘air-lock’ between the doors.
Electric lock release.
Some high value stockists, such as jewelers and certain antique shops, may prefer an alternative approach: you use only one door but keep it locked and admit customers via a buzzer and electric lock release.
And if it happens…
Remember that if there is a robbery at your premises, the statistics show that there is a higher risk of it happening again, something to bear in mind.