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Article of Interest:
Cracking Down on Crime in the Workplace

There are many steps businesses can take to help safeguard their business from armed robbery, break-and-enter, shoplifting and a variety of frauds. But once these measures, or training for staff, are put in place, businesses shouldn’t assume the job is done. “It’s important for businesses to take proactive steps regularly,” says RCMP Corporal Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service.  “Business owners or managers should regularly meet with their staff, and review safety measures.” Cpl. Marks notes that in a retail environment, staff turnover can be high. “Unfortunately, our investigators see many instances where businesses have new staff, who haven’t been trained in safety and security procedures, or staff who aren’t even aware of these procedures.” Businesses may also want to contact their local RCMP detachment or police department directly, to talk about any security concerns. “Many detachments have crime prevention officers available to conduct property security assessments and can offer suggestions on what businesses can do to avoid becoming a victim,” Marks says. She offers a number of tips and checklists for businesses:

Armed Robbery Prevention

Assign employee responsibilities such as:

• Who will call police?

• Who will look for a getaway vehicle (if any) & direction of travel?

• Who will lock the doors?

• Who will detain & separate witnesses?

• Who will protect evidence?

• Do not assume these jobs will be done—make your staff assignments now.

• Have some marked money in the register. Record the denomination, serial number, and year of several bills on a piece of paper kept separately from your till. Try to include this marked money with what the robber takes.

• Surveillance cameras are a great deterrence.

If Robbed…


• DO NOT RESIST. Cooperate with the robber. Do not volunteer to do anything other than what is asked— he/she may be armed, or high on drugs.

• Try to remain calm. You will be able to give a better description. Try to notice height, hairline, ears, scars, marks, tattoos, rings…

• Give robber marked money (part of your pre-planning).

• Preserve the scene for evidence—immediately lock all doors. Don’t touch anything the robber may have. Ask all witnesses to remain on the scene and independently record their interpretation of events, including the robbers’ description(s). Don’t compare notes, just have everyone report what they saw.

• Note direction of travel and mode of transportation.

Preventing Fraud

• Keep the debit machine and pin pad off of the counter.

• Check the credit card expiration date.

• Check the name on the front of the credit card to be sure it matches the name on the signature panel.

• Do not accept credit card phone orders even with an obtained authorization number unless the customer will personally pick the order up and can produce the card for either electronic or manual card impression.

• Check signatures and ask for photo identification.

SOURCE: Cracking Down on Crime in the Workplace, by RCMP. September 2011 by the Vancouver Sun.

If you see ways that your business’s security can be improved, please call a representative to find out more, and see our Commercial Security & Video Systems page.