Robbery is a crime against your person rather than against your property. It is important to remember two things:
- Robbers want one thing – your money or property – and they want it quickly.
- Robbery is a risky business and robbers are usually nervous. You do not want to delay a robbery in any way and increase the potential for violence. Give the robber what he or she wants and do it quickly. Do not risk your life, or another person’s life, for property.
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- Robberies occur at predictable times. Opening and closing periods are particularly vulnerable times due to low staffing and large amounts of cash on hand. Lunch hours are primary times for the same reasons. Robberies increase during the holiday season due to the increased cash volume and the presence of large crowds that distract and preoccupy store and company personnel.
- Report suspicious activity. If you observe an individual, or occupied vehicle, lingering around your business for a time, or in a manner that makes you suspicious or uncomfortable, write down the license number, colour of the car and description of the individual(s)…Be sure to inform other employees of your suspicion.
- Good visibility allows employees to be aware of suspicious activities outside the store. It also increases the chance passer-by’s will observe robberies taking place inside the store.
- Keep doors and windows clear. Post any necessary signs to the side, top or bottom of the display windows to allow maximum visibility into and out of the store. This will help customers see your merchandise too.
- Locate the cash register in a central place. Keep it in clear view of the door, with the customer’s back to the entrance. The register should be visible from the outside.
- Keep counter displays low. This allows employees to see over the top. You can also rearrange displays to allow surveillance up and down both sides of each aisle.
- Place wide-angle mirrors in strategic locations. This will assist with visibility in blind areas of the store.
- Make sure interior lighting provide good visibility in the store at all times. Outdoor lighting should be even and directed toward the sides of the building, not outward where glare can create hiding places for robbers.