Licenced premises are particularly vulnerable to armed robbery as they deal with large amounts of cash and operate outside normal trading hours.
The paper’s recommendations are that staff training is a primary strategy for armed robbery prevention, alongside ongoing improvements to technological security measures.
The readily available prevention information is based on the 'crime triangle' approach, which addresses the three aspects of an offender's willingness to commit a robbery:
- a suitable target
- a motivated offender and
- the absence of a capable guardian
Staff training aims to improve the guardianship element, making it as difficult as possible for the offender; and the motivation element; reducing the reward – within the crime triangle.
Staff training can be undertaken in the following areas:
- cash handling and management procedures
- security routines for business opening and closing
- security practices and procedures
- identifying, reporting and recording suspect activity.
The first area of training relates to reducing the reward available for the offender, and the other three areas relate to making it difficult for the offender to commit the offence.
The other important area of staff training which is 'meeting the threat' - involves what to do in the event of an armed robbery:
- Calm - try to remain calm. Do not invade the personal space of the offender. Activate the alarm only if you can do so safely.
- Obey - obey instructions but do not provide money or goods that are not asked for. Advise the offender of any movements you have to make to comply with instructions. Do not make any sudden or unexpected movements.
- Description - endeavour to make a mental note of the offenders' features, including clothing, scars, tattoos, height, hair colour, accent and speech.
- Evidence - be aware of what the offender touched and do not touch it yourself. After the offender leaves, lock the door of the building and ask any witnesses to await the arrival of police.
- Alarm - activate the alarm or call the police only when it is safe to do so.
The recommended frequency of training is:
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Blayne Webb, Director, Barringtons