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  Help Safeguard Your Business Against Robberies

Jan 18, 2010 13:59 ET

Crimes of this nature generally target commercial businesses and their employees. Protecting your business and employee(s) from a robbery can’t entirely be controlled but it is possible to minimize these incidents and the potential for personal injury. Please take note of the following tips:


Money Handling
• Minimize the quantity of cash that is kept on the premise
• Post signs indicating, “ Employees do not have access to safe”
• Make use of a drop safe. When making deposits, have someone with you, stagger your delivery times and DO NOT carry money in sight
• Businesses dealing in larger quantities of cash should consider the use of an armoured car service

Visibility
• Ensure that windows are not covered over by advertising signs, merchandise, or reflective tint film. Employees should have a clear view of the outside as well as there being a clear view inside for the public and police patrols
• Direct employees to notify the police if suspicious persons or vehicles hang around your place of business.
• Be especially alert at opening and closing times.

Lighting
• The interior, exterior, front and rear of a business premise should be well illuminated to deter potential robbers from hiding in shadows or poorly lit areas.

Locking doors
• For late night businesses, consider locking doors after midnight. Some robberies have been averted by cautious employees locking the front doors. Examples have included disguised criminals rushing to the front door of the business only to find it locked. They quickly make their escape.
• Ensure that rear doors are always locked. Many robbers have entered businesses through many unlocked rear doors.

Video Equipment
• Ensure your business is equipped with a video surveillance system.
• Consider upgrading from video tape to digital recording.
• Ensure that multiple camera’s are used to capture clear viewing and close up’s of the exterior, front door, cash register, and rear door. It is important that a camera can capture a robber’s face as opposed to a blurry figure at a distance

During a Robbery
• Remain calm and obey the robber's commands
• Take note of the weapon and consider all to be real
• Do not confront or argue with the robber(s)
• Note the following details: age, weight, height, clothing (gloves), tattoos or scars

After a Robbery
• Watch the direction the robbers take - if they use a vehicle, try to note the licence plate number
• Immediately call the police! Dial 9-1-1 and STAY ON THE PHONE
• Give your name, telephone number and the address of the hold-up
• Give a description of the suspect(s), direction of travel, and licence number if a vehicle was used
• Advise whether or not weapons were used and if any injuries have occurred
• Protect the crime scene. Keep customers or other employees away from the area of the store where the robbery occurred
• Ask witnesses to wait until the police arrive
• Lock the door until the police arrive
• Do not touch anything

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