This month, our Risk Department held an information seminar for our retail customers to outline best practice when dealing with cash businesses such as shops, hotels, cinemas and pharmacies. This proved a very useful seminar and helped many of our customers understand the real risk involved when security precautions are not taken seriously.
If you own a business, particularly one that deals in cash, there is a good chance that one day it may be robbed. If you are lucky, the robbery will occur after the business is closed and all of your employees have gone home. If not, you, your employees and possibly your customers could be faced with a very dangerous situation.
There are effective measures that business owners, managers, and employees can take that will protect the assets of the business and make it safer for employees.
• Always have two or more employees open and close the business. If possible, have a security company available to lock up with you.
• Install an effective alarm system that is monitored.
• Use surveillance cameras behind the cash register and facing out to the front of the counter.
• Install surveillance cameras in areas where a person could hide.
• Keep the outside doors in backrooms locked when not in use.
• Have lockers or locked desks so employees can lock up any personal valuables, purses, or medications.
• Do not release personal information about employees to strangers and shred all past employee records when trashing it.
• Keep low cash balance in the cash registers.
• Make regular bank deposits of excess money or lock it in a safe.
• Vary the times and the routes used to go to the bank to make deposits.
• Avoid sending one person to the bank with a deposit.
• Avoid making deposits late at night.
• Do not carry the deposit openly in a deposit bag.
• Avoid hanging signs or putting displays on windows or around the sales counter that will obstruct the view of the register.
• In areas that are blocked by shelving, walls or other obstructions, hang conclave mirrors.
• Do careful reference checks on employees that are hired.
• Have policies in place concerning employees’ friends or relatives hanging around the business.
• Customers should be greeted when they enter the business and train employees to make eye contact and engage with the customers. An alert staff can quickly deter a would-be robber.
• Train employees not to take risks, but to call the Gardaí if they see suspicious people inside or lurking outside of the business.
• If employees really suspect that they are about to be robbed, tell them to lock the doors of the business until Gardaí arrive.
• Keep your business well lit both inside and out and focus on areas where someone could hide.
• Trim trees and bushes so that they do not become hiding places for robbers by blocking light.
• Be familiar and get to know the local Gardaí . Encourage them to stop by your business.
• If possible, use only one cash register at night. Leave the drawers on the other cash registers opened and tilt the money tray so that it will show that it is empty.
• Do not tempt robbers by balancing the cash register by the cash desk. Take it to a back office to count it.
• Train employees to be alert when handling money. It is easy to make a one dollar bill look like a twenty dollar bill to an employee that is not paying attention.
• Do not completely cover the windows of the business by closing blinds or pulling curtains at closing time. Always leave them only partially closed.
What to do if Your Business is Robbed
Always make personal safety the number one priority. Money and merchandise can be replaced.
Train employees to comply with the robber’s demands and to try to remain calm, move slowly, and communicate only when necessary. If employees are in other areas of the building, let the robber know so that they are not surprised by an employee who may come out of a backroom.
When the robber leaves, employees should never follow after them, but instead lock the doors of the business, move to the back of the building and wait for the police to arrive. While they wait they can document what occurred, including the time the robbery took place, what was stolen and a description of the robber.
It could be helpful that within a few days of the robbery, the employees who were present come for a meeting so that what happened can be discussed, emotions shared, and suggestions on what can be improved be accessed to help deter being robbed again.
For more advice or to speak to us call on 045 872090. We would be glad to assist you.