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How to protect your business from increasing aggravated robbery

Together with house robbery and carjacking, business robbery is one of the crimes that affect us most directly. The recently released SAPS 2008/09 crime statistics show that unfortunately all the gains they've made in many areas are being negated by the increases in this ‘trio' of crimes. Business robberies increased by an enormous 41.1% and contrary to the impression created by the media, it isn't large shopping centres that are most at risk, but smaller to medium sized businesses.

To quote the annual report: "It seems as if smaller businesses are targeted because they are mainly cash-based and the target is usually money. In nearly 80% of cases money was taken, while in 43.1% cellular telephones or accessories were taken...Aggravated robberies have become increasingly violent and are now considered the second most important generator of crimes such as murder and attempted murder."


Three interesting facts to emerge from the report and Trellidor has some suggestions on what we do about them:

Fact 1: Most of the business robberies occurred at smaller to medium sized businesses

Solutions: Secure your businesses premises as well as you would your home. This means physical security barriers on all windows and doors. If you don't own your premises, come to a compromise with your landlord in terms of what security you'd like and what is permissible. Rather they keep you as a tenant than lose your business because of poor security measures.

Sliding barriers can be fitted to windows and are very practical for businesses. They make window cleaning easy and can be opened up during trading hours, or left closed and locked if the business is in a high crime area.

High quality security gates should be fitted to all external doors. Access can be controlled through electric claw locks and control pads if necessary. Consider installing Trellidor's T1000 design as it has been internationally certified as the strongest sliding security gate on the market. This design is ideal for buildings that are deserted at night.

Fact 2: Most business robberies occur around the opening and closing times of businesses i.e. 18:00 - 20:59 (22.5%) and 09:00-12:00 (16.2%) and most were committed by two to three perpetrators with firearms.

Solutions: Again, the answer is to not allow them to get into your premises in the first place, because they are using those weapons more frequently. "We have to make sure that criminals cannot physically get their hands on us. Reliable security barriers closed and locked at these times help to deter criminals from getting in and stealing your hard-earned cash," said Peter Rawson, marketing director of the Trellicor Group.

Trellidor recommends setting up a safe zone for customers and staff to escape to in the event of an invasion by robbers. This could be a back office, for example, with top quality burglar guards on all windows and sliding barriers on the doors. "We strongly suggest that sliding Trellidors are fitted to at least one window, to use as an escape route in an emergency such as fire or hostage situation," said Rawson.

Roller shutters are a good option for shop fronts, back entrances and delivery areas as they can be automated, closing quickly and easily at the touch of a button in an emergency. They are also dual-purpose, acting as both a door and security barrier.

Additional security such as guards that work through these hours instead of changing shift and panic buttons linked to an armed response unit are also recommended.

Fact 3: Business robberies were evenly spread over all days of the week but there was a slight peak (23.3%) on Fridays when most people go shopping and there is an accumulation of cash.

Solutions: Vigilance is key here. Staff must be made aware of this statistic and to be on the alert for potential problems. They also should be trained in what to do if they are suspicious of people that enter the premises. Increased security, particularly physical barriers, act as a deterrent and should discourage criminals from attempting to rob your premises. 
Securing your business properly can be an expensive exercise, particularly if you're starting from scratch.

To find a Trellidor consultant near you, contact a showroom or telephone 0861-TRELLIDOR (873554367).

* Information true and correct at the time of publish
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