Here are a couple of helpful hints to think about when assessing your likelihood of being robbed in your home or business.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD ENVIRONMENT: Focus on the “big picture” and some of the deterrence measures that can be taken based on the neighborhood surroundings. Enlist cooperation and support from your community. Become sensitive to your community’s attitudes.
Contact representatives from city departments such as
• Youth group organizers
Working with your community and increasing your awareness of robbery deterrence procedures will help make your stores safer and improve industry image.
In general, high activity areas are less prone to robberies. Assess the quantity and type of traffic, times of high and low activity and the potential for increased traffic and activity. Pedestrians, as well as cruising patrol cars, should have clear visibility into the store both during the day and especially at night. It would be to the store’s advantage to have a pay telephone nearby for pedestrian use should someone notice trouble within the store. The phone should also be situated so a potential robber would not be able to monitor the activities of the employee on duty while using the phone.
VISIBILITY AND LIGHTING
It is important to provide as much visibility as possible into your store from the street and to provide visibility from the inside of the store to the outside. The important point is that there should be visibility from the register area to the street. This involves an assessment of your lighting and the visibility it provides both during the day and at night. For instance, shrubs or trees sometimes obstruct the path of a floodlight. Sometimes trees cast shadows over your lot at different times of the year. Look for such obstacles in your lot.
BUILDING AND PARKING LOT SECURITY
Some retail store operators use some security measures which could slow a robbery escape. Such measures could deter a robbery as well. For instance, some stores fence their premises on three sides to slow a robber escaping around the side of the store. Some stores allow parking only directly in front of their stores, so an escape vehicle would have to be parked directly in front of the store. Some stores have just one exit out of the parking lot, and some have speed bumps in the parking lot.
ROBBERY DETERRENCE SIGNAGE
Robbery deterrence signage, stickers, decals, etc. are available to let customers and potential robbers know what a store is doing to deter robbery. For instance, placing a height measure by an exit door helps witnesses determine the height of a fleeing robber. Also, to publicize a low cash policy, cards that reads “no 20s” or “no 50s” can be placed in the cash register drawer. These cards also remind the employee that large amounts of cash go directly into the safe. But remember, whatever signage you have in place, make sure it is telling a true story. Do not post signage which is not true.