Christmas shopping: How to ensure your business, staff and customers are safe and secure
It’s a known fact that criminal activity increases in the run up to the Festive Season as criminals go ‘shopping’ for high-value items and cash. We see a definite surge in firearm and vehicle theft as criminals prepare for bigger heists.
The emphasis for business owners this Festive Season should really be on safeguarding their staff (including guards) and their customers. We see security guards overpowered on a daily basis as they are sitting ducks for gangs to target.
The predominant areas, which we see being targeted are Deal Party, Markman Industrial and Neave Industrial, although this is not to say that other areas are immune from the crime.
Safety after hours should be high on employers’ list of priorities. Staff tend to work longer hours at this time of year and their safety should be of prime concern to senior management.
As mentioned, security guards are being targeted, particularly at night and we will always advocate that they should have a buddy system in place – there should be a minimum of two on site at a time, but more for larger sites. They should also have access to radio communication with their base and a remote panic system with an armed response company such as Atlas.
Cash is King for criminals
How do your transport cash to and from the bank? Larger sums are now starting to come in and it is advisable to use a cash-in-transit option from your bank to avoid your staff becoming robbery targets.
However, even cash-in-transit has its dangers. Very recently, we saw the aftermath of how a gang pretending to be CCTV repairmen, laid in wait for the cash-in-transit vehicle, so as to have access to the safe. They made off with over half a million Rand in cash.
The best-case scenario would be to be on high alert and institute a mini-lockdown when the cash-in-transit vehicle arrives to pick-up and/or drop-off. To this effect, all staff should be made well aware of emergency procedures in the event of an armed robbery – including, who to contact, how to contact them and also how to conduct themselves during such a situation. Screaming and losing their cool will likely result in the situation worsening for everyone!
Another trend which is commonplace is the increase in the theft of vehicles. Criminals most often walk to your business and leave in a stolen getaway vehicle. Again, one should always be on the lookout for suspicious persons in or near the premises, and again, staff education on safety and vigilance against crime is key.
At Atlas, we strongly believe that safety of personnel and clients alike is just as, if not more important, than the safety of your high-value goods. This Festive Season, we would very much like to see less injuries and more vigilance.
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