Figures published recently by the Centre for Retail Research show the estimated total cost of retail crime in 2019 was £4,821 million. That figure includes shoplifting, organised crime and staff theft at suppliers and warehouses.
In this article, we’re going to focus on three of the most common types of threats to your business and what you can do to help prevent them from happening.
First up is violent till snatches. It’s the cash in the till that is the target of these attacks, often carried out by a single perpetrator, usually an amateur. Smaller shops tend to be the most vulnerable. That’s because they have fewer staff and it is proven that the more staff you have on the shop floor, the greater the deterrent to thieves.
Next, it’s organised robbery – where the thieves are a little more methodical in their approach and target cash stored in safes or even taking swathes of expensive stock. Different to till snatches, there is often a team of perpetrators who are all primed to use significant force and are armed with weapons, sometimes even firearms. The transaction of handing over cash takings to a cash collection company is particularly vulnerable to targeting in this instance.
Finally, we’re looking at attacks on cash in transit. This is a threat exclusive to retailers who do not employ a cash collection service and instead carry takings to the bank themselves. Thieves can gang up to target a business owner or employee as they leave their premises and are often armed with knives to speed up handover of the cash.
How you can help prevent crime from happening
The way you and your staff handle cash can be key in putting criminals off targeting your shop. Closing till drawers as soon as possible, making sure more than one staff member is involved in moving cash, and ensuring cash is only counted somewhere secure will all help.
Try to keep as little cash as possible in tills by regularly transferring smaller amounts to a secure area of your shop. You can even advertise the fact that very little cash is kept in the tills to put thieves off. Another measure is to encourage cashless transactions by making it easier for customers to pay by card or on account.
When taking money to the bank, the carrier should avoid wearing anything that identifies them as shop staff. Never carry the cash in a shop branded bag and also change the time of day and route taken regularly so there is no set routine obvious to would-be attackers.
Employ the experts
All of the advice above is designed to help reduce your exposure to retail crime. But for complete peace of mind, employing security guards is still the most effective deterrent.
For more information about how Triton’s security guards can help, please visit: https://www.triton-security.com/services/security-guards/.