Security tips for businesses


The majority of criminals in the retail sector are opportunistic and do not plan, they are driven for a quick reward and work simply, upon criminal impulse. The less often, but greater threat that retail businesses need to be aware of is organised crime and the organised criminal gangs. They, unlike the opportunist thieves, do not just act on impulse. They work in larger groups to steal and con businesses out of hundreds of pounds worth of goods and products, and have methods in which they do so. Criminal gangs, such as this, will plan and target specific and vulnerable premises in order to gain larger rewards, occasionally using violence to do so.

It is not essential to turn your business into a fortress, but by implementing a few simple measures you could make the organised crime gangs jobs’ more difficult. Hire a security guard, someone who can stand watch on the door keeping an eye on customers or anyone who seems to be acting suspiciously. Having a security guard on duty in your store can immediately deter opportunist burglars, as they won’t want to risk arrest or being caught for a minimal reward. The more professional gangs of criminals however, may be accustomed to distracting or diverting security guards attention away from what is really happening. Installing CCTV systems in your store can help prevent them getting away with this. By having cameras dotted around your shop with eyes on everything and everyone, this can not only help to prevent theft, but also bring the criminals to justice and retrieve any goods that do manage to be stolen. When having CCTV installed, ensure that you also advertise that it is in operation by displaying signs such as “Smile you’re on camera” or simply “CCTV is operating in this area”. It would also be recommended to display these signs regardless of whether you have working CCTV in operation as these signs will further deter any possible criminal activity in your store.

Make sure all items you are selling are tagged if possible, the tags should only be removed upon purchase meaning anyone who tries to leave with an item still tagged will be held back by the security guard. Tags are not easy to remove, especially ones which contain inks, these if incorrectly removed will burst, ruining the item that has been stolen.

By installing access control systems in areas which are staff only, or in some cases, manager only, will prevent anyone slipping through and gaining access to restricted information or any cash stored in the back. These systems will only allow the approved staff members access into the areas and will automatically lock behind them. These are beneficial in areas which the petty cash or till floats may be kept, along with staff information and wage documents.

Always ensure that a minimal amount of cash is left in tills at all times. Keeping excessive amounts of money in the till puts you at a higher chance of someone attempting to steal it, which will also put your staff members at risk. Installing counter caches onto the side of the till allows the staff members to deposit notes into it without being able to regain access to them. Counter caches can only be opening by use of a key, which would be kept by the manager so that they can empty them when they get too full. Ensure that all staff are sufficiently trained on what to do if someone attempts to rob the till, their safety is more important at that stage than any money lost. If you have CCTV installed you should be able to retrieve the money if police can identify the robber.

Simple ways to ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to petty crime or organised crime can be done through the use of your staff members. Get staff to approach all customers and ask whether there’s anything they can do to help the customer. If anyone is considering stealing from you, this should reduce the likelihood of it occurring as they know they’ve been seen by staff. Assigning staff members to specific zones on your shop floor should also keep thieves at bay. This method will, again, make possible thieves aware that they’re being observed making the task at hand a lot more difficult for them.

Lowering displays around the cash register that block the cashier’s view of the selling floor will allow more staff to keep their eyes on what customers are doing. If your store is large in size, improve retail security by making frequent announcements over the public address (PA) system, such as “Security to area 4,” even if your store doesn’t have security personnel or an area 4.

All of these methods can help to increase your businesses security, however we would further recommend having a commercial safe installed. Having a safe for your business provides added layers of security that aren’t possible with other methods. Commercial safes are a secure way to protect and petty cash or till floats, along with restricted information about the company or members of staff.
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