8 Quick Tips To Prevent Retail Hold-ups
A hold up is probably the number one safety concern that all business owners think about. Especially retail businesses where cash transactions take place on a regular basis. If a criminal believes there is enough cash to steal they may attempt a hold-up. There are things that a retail owner / manager can do to deter the would be criminal and have them choose an easier target. Criminals are generally like water and choose the path of least resistance. Here are a few items to make your business the path less desirable.
Have A Plan – There should be a written hold-up plan and all employees should be trained in what to do for possible scenarios that may occur, from suspicious behavior to what to do in an actual hold-up. It would be wise to even role play events. Managers are often afraid that if they talk about hold-ups that no one will want to work at that business. It’s actually better to acknowledge the possibility during the interview process but let them know that you have procedures in place. This will help relieve anxiety. Putting your head in the sand really never solved anything.
Panic Buttons – Make sure all employees know where the panic buttons are located and when you should push them. Proper technique recommends that the button not be used when the criminal is looking right at them. Allow them to leave and there’s no chance that you will be seen pushing the button. The best type of hold-up system is one that sends a silent signal back to a central station that has audio communication to the site. By audio communication I mean a way for the central station to listen live to what is occurring at the building. This allows more details of the situation to be provided to the police department to tailor their response.
Eye Contact – Make it a point to have every employee who comes in contact with a customer acknowledge them. Even if it’s just to say hello or to ask if they need assistance. Criminals do not want to be noticed and want to think no one has recognized them. It’s also a good business practice for customer assistance. That way if anyone is acting suspicious you can keep an eye on them.
Clear Paths – We’re not talking about how high the aisle are stacked with merchandise, but how the front window displays are set up. Try to keep the front window merchandise low enough that people can see in the windows and see cashiers. A cash register that is hidden from any vantage point becomes an easy target.
Mark Doorways – Make sure you have a measuring tape near the doors and cash registers. This will help in later identification if needed. But when the tape is visible it also acts as a deterrent because it acknowledges that the business is vigilant.
Small Amounts of Cash in Registers – Chances are that a criminal wants to know if a place of business is worth robbing. They come to this conclusion by observing how much money is kept in the register. Criminals are smart enough to notice when large amounts of cash are kept under the drawer. This makes a business a target.
Know Your Employees – Another preventative measure is to be active in checking out any new hires to the company. Spend the extra time and money to do a background check. This may prevent important information regarding how much cash a business keeps on hand and how it is handled from being passed to the wrong person.
Cameras – Have cameras placed at the registers so that facial recognition is the main focus of the camera. Have a professional company come in to assist in the type of camera, the placement and how the video images are stored and replayed. If you go the cheap route and Do-It-Yourself, chances are that when you really need the information won’t be there.
These are just a few steps that should be implemented where possible in your place of business. Good luck and be safe!
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