The fifth part of ‘The New Shop Owners Guide to Security‘ focuses on safe cash handling and what you can do to prevent robberies and theft at your shop…
There is a very high possibility that thieves who consider your shop a possible target for them after observing the way your business operates during the day, as well as how well it is secured at night. There are a number of burglaries and armed robberies that take place during daylight hours, with the criminals choosing the right time to strike.
Choosing the time to terrorise and steal money and goods from the shop may have been the result of weeks or months of preparation to ensure they have chosen a time that shopowners are likely to be alone and without the risk of being stopped by police or civilians who may attempt to prevent the crime. The mentality of the criminal is always that of low risk-high reward, so a shopowners priority should be to make your shop a high risk-low reward crime.
DURING THE DAY
During your shop’s opening hours, there are a number of precautions you can take that will send the warning signals to the criminals who may be staking out your business for a possible hit. The first is to have clear signs that you take your security seriously around your shop.
Making a Statement
This includes having fully operational security cameras on display, mirrors in the corners to give you full sight of your store, and signage that give warnings of the threat of prosecution to potential shoplifters and other more dangerous criminals. The more you show that your shop and its contents are important to you, there is more of a chance that your shop will find itself on the ‘High Risk’ list.
One piece of signage that is extremely important is one that lets criminals know that there will be no cash left on the premises overnight. It is crucial that this sign is displayed loud and proud on the front entrance in clear sight. When the cash is on the premises during the day, it should be locked away in a high quality safe that is only opened when the cash is urgently required, and locked thereafter.
Safe and Secure Cash Transportation
If your shops takings are collected by Securicor or by some other person or company, they should not be given access to the safe without your presence and any such meeting should be done away from the front of the shop, preferably in a back office where nobody can see. If you are dealing with the banks yourself, vary the time and route that you take so that any observing criminals can’t learn your routine and pick you off at their discretion.
If by chance you are confronted by thieves, it is far better to visit your insurance company after the crime than to try and fight off the criminals and risk serious injury. Criminals who feel the need to steal are likely to be desperate, uncaring and unpredictable, making them likely to lash out and cause injury to you without considering the consequences. All you can do is prepare and give yourself the best chance of being able to fall off the radar of criminals, by altering your routine and being as safe and secure in your shop as possible.
Cash Handling and Operating Tills
Your shop may have a team of employees, and their safety is as important as the safety and security of your shop. The best way that you can keep them protected from criminals is by having up to date security cameras and other forms of security products installed, but their till and cash handling training is just as important.
Thieves come in all different forms, and this includes using counterfeit money and learning tricks to confuse shopowners into giving them the wrong change. Anyone who has watched The Real Hustle on TV knows that there are people out their capable of doing this with ease. It is going to be virtually impossible to learn all of these tricks, but being vigilant and extra carefully when handling cash will likely help you to spot any discrepancies.
It is essential that you train all of your staff how to handle cash properly and be able to use the till to a good standard to avoid any risks of tills being left open by mistake or staff handing out the wrong change to customers. Basic maths skills and a bit of common sense go a long way, but till systems are different and may could mean that staff need a little extra training before they can work safely and unsupervised.
The next section of the guide will continue the safe cash handling guide – focussing on what you can do to keep the cash of your shop safe during the night…