Top 10 Robbery Prevention Tips For Small Businesses

There’s nothing quite as frightening as being held up in a robbery – especially an armed one.

Theft and robberies usually take place when there’s a lack of planning for emergency situations and when poor cash handling is involved. Without the right security measures, many businesses unknowingly make criminal situations convenient for robbers. 

The good news is, with new and improved security technology available, robbery prevention has become much easier! 

What are you waiting for? It’s time to take the steps needed to prevent your store from being targeted by robbers and thieves. 

We’ve listed down some of our top tips for enhancing security in your retail store which you may have overlooked.

1. Remember to lock your doors and limit store entrances

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

First and foremost, remember to keep the sides and rear doors locked. As obvious as it seems, a simple mistake such as forgetting to lock your shop doors can put your business at serious risk.

Limiting store entrances is also important. This forces all store visitors to enter and exit from the same entrance. 

This way, nobody can sneak out unnoticed or barge out of your store with stolen goods and easily get away with it. Have an extra employee keep an eye out when taking in products and shipments from the backdoor, and make sure that it’s locked up when done.

2. Set up security alarms

Try to get an alarm that allows you to easily monitor any suspicious activity and notifies the police and you immediately when it goes off. Business security alarms should be turned on and monitored 24/7. 

Ensure that your alarms are in working order (you may want to have a silent alarm too in case of a daytime robbery). 

Remember to make the fact that you have an alarm system installed known. Clearly put security signs and stickers on entrance doors or windows to scare off any potential thieves. 

If you receive any request to keep your store open after your usual business hours, remember to notify the police! This may be a way for robbers to get you or your staff alone when other shops have closed for the night.

3. Never let anyone stay back alone 

Always have more than one employee around to open and close the store. By only having one person, your store becomes an easier target for robbers because there is less of a threat and your store is more vulnerable. If there is more than one robber, they can easily force that one employee to take out cash for them. 

Aside from your store, remember to always keep your staff safe as well!

4. Discuss robbery scenarios with staff

Educate and inform your employees of a plan in the event of a robbery. Doing so encourages active responses that can make a huge difference during emergency situations. There are many resources on the internet around this topic that you can take advantage of and use for training about such situations and on how to use alarms. 

If a robbery does occur, the best thing to do is for everybody to remain calm, refrain from making sudden movements, and obey the robber’s instructions since the robber may be tense, carrying a dangerous weapon and/or under the influence of drugs.

Assign different roles to employees, such as having one to call the police, one to make observations about the robber(s), one to detain witnesses and one to protect evidence at the scene of the crime.

Active Response Training and Armed Citizens’ Network are two of the many useful resources, teaching people how to tackle emergency situations, such as a robbery.

5. Install security cameras

Photo by Gateway 

Install CCTV cameras that face your front counter and behind the cash register. Also, install surveillance cameras in areas where a person could potentially hide. This could work as a deterrent for robbers. 

Having surveillance cameras is also beneficial for capturing footage of any suspicious or criminal behaviour and possibly help identify the robber.

6. Keep low amounts of cash in-store

Try to keep the amount of cash you have in your register to a minimum as robbers can easily know and see when large bills are available. Establish the maximum amount of money your business needs in the cash register and create a policy where the amount of cash in the register should not go above this limit.  

Keep cash at the amount necessary to meet customer transactions.

7. Make sure your store is well-lit

One of the best ways to keep your store safe is by keeping your store’s interior, front and back entrances well-lit. With good lighting surrounding your store, potential thieves feel nervous as it’s easier for them to get spotted. This makes it less likely for them to target your premise. 

Good interior lighting allows people outside your business to see the people inside, and vice versa. The more visibility that is available, the less likely robbers will want to target your store. 

Pay close attention to the darker areas around your property and consider installing a motion-activated light around the entrance.

8. Get the right staff

It’s easy to forget that not all the dangers that your business face comes from the outside. Sometimes, the most common form of robbery comes from employee fraud and theft. 

To avoid this, make sure you hire responsible and trustworthy employees. Don’t give out too much important information regarding your business to your staff. Install CCTVs around the store to keep an eye on employees and train them on store safety and expectations. 

Warn your staff about the serious consequences and disciplinary measures that will take place if they commit any form of fraud or theft.

9. Be cautious when making bank deposits

The visibility and availability of large amounts of cash are super attractive to robbers. By carelessly handling money in the store, you could accidentally invite a robbery to happen. 

Be discreet when counting or handling large amounts of cash. Try to vary the time and routine when you make deposits every day so it isn’t predictable for people to target you. Don’t be too obvious when going to the bank, leave your uniform or name tag behind and carry cash in a container that isn’t an obvious moneybag. 

Essentially, you want to be as subtle as you can when carrying cash and have low amounts of cash on-premise. 

When going to the bank, go in the daytime and definitely don’t go alone! Have someone with you and keep cash concealed inconspicuously in your clothes.

10. Stay updated with the news

It is important to continuously stay informed of local crime trends around your area so you are constantly aware of what’s happening. This could give you an idea on how to discourage potential thieves before they strike. 

By knowing about any potential criminal activity around your area, it can help keep your store and employees prepared and on alert.

Stay safe!

We hope you’ll benefit from these pointers and (hopefully) have already taken preventative measures in case of a robbery at your store. 

With many more tips available online, be sure to research what works best for your store to keep crime away.

Stay safe and alert!

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