From simple prevention to high-tech security, experts say there is much owners can do to protect their businesses, customers, and employees:
BEFORE CRIME OCCURS . . .
Lock up. If open overnight, prevent holdups by keeping the doors
locked after business slows for the night. Suspicious people can be
Prevent. Better cash-handling procedures, such as a $200 drop-safe
in the counter area, along with brighter interior and exterior lighting
are simple but proven prevention methods.
Cameras. Most businesses have surveillance systems, but police
encourage businesses to invest in higher resolution, multi-camera
systems. If you do have cameras, make sure they are positioned
about seven (7) feet off the ground so they can see a suspect's
face, not just the top of their head.
DURING THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME . . .
Be a good witness. Stay calm and comply, but keep your eyes
open and try to remember the suspect's clothing, tattoos, jewelry or
anything else. Lock the door when the suspect leaves.
AFTER A CRIME HAS OCCURRED . . .
Write it down. Early on, sit down with a pen and piece of paper
and write down everything you can remember about what happened.
Police will interview you, but this will help you remember details.
Stay vigilant. A 2005 government survey found 81% of
businesses that had an incident of workplace violence in the past
year, like an employee injured in a robbery, did not change their
violence-prevention program. Some owners think they're too busy to
worry about crime or don't get robbed enough to consider it a major
problem. Businesses typically call only if they've already been hit or
an insurer demands it. If businesses have a security system in the
building, with the signs and stickers displayed, burglars most likely
will go on to the next place.
Check costs. A security system may be cheaper than you think.
Some businesses get something similar to a "Business Attack Pack",
which includes a motion detector, panic button, door alarm and other
tools, and it costs as low as $150 to install and $35 per month.