Are the employees in your office or workplace trained and equipped to handle break-ins, robberies and theft?

Doesn’t really matter whether your answer to the above question is yes or no, there is always room for improvement when it comes to safety. Thieves and robbers usually strike unexpectedly, and they will catch you off guard whether or not you already have an adequate emergency plan in place. That’s why it is essential to regularly assess your procedures and enhance them when necessary.

In order to help you with this, here is a list of the most common unwanted situations that you could come across and how to act when they do happen.

  1. Armed break-ins

The best way to handle armed break-ins and robberies is to actually prevent them. Keep in mind that criminals commit these acts because they truly believe that the benefits outweigh any risks. In fact, a thief can commit a hold-up due to the belief that the profit will actually be worth the involved risk. By eliminating the potential profit from the equation and increasing the apprehension risk, victims will reduce their probabilities of becoming a target.

What shall we do in the case of an armed break-in

In the event of an armed break-in does take place, try to remain calm and act as follows:

  • Cooperate with the criminal. Do not resist, and do not act in such a way that would put employees or other people at risk. In other words… don’t try to be the hero.
  • Avoid surprises. Criminals are usually nervous, so quick moves or surprising events will put you and other people around you in harm’s way.
  • Activate any silent or holdup burglar alarms you have in the office or workplace.
  • If you actually have any cash in-house, try to give them any marked money if possible.
  • Remain observant. Make a mental note of the number of criminals involved and also of their physical appearance (e.g. height, colour of eyes and hair, etc). Also look at what they are wearing and of course any weapons they carry with them.
  • Call the authorities right after the break-in. Give them the time of the criminal’s departure and provide a physical description.
  • Keep the evidence. Keep clear of the scene and do not touch anything that the criminals have touched.
  1. Flash mobs

Flash mob involves several criminals (at times up to 20 individuals) walking into an office, store or workspace to overwhelm workers and steal anything valuable from goods and merchandise to cash, as quickly as they can.

The strength of flash mobs, obviously, lies in the high numbers of criminals. When a crowd all of a sudden walks into an office, it is hard to react appropriately. And in several cases, criminals walk out of the workplace before workers even undesrtand what’s going on.

How to respond to flash mobs

One thing that can be done is put associates or extra personnel in key areas of the office or workspace, or near high-value goods or cash, because obviously these are frequently the target of criminals who participate in flash mobs.

And in case a flash mob does actually occur, do not try to fight it as this can lead to extreme violence. Train and instruct your employees (and even usual clients and visitors) to hide into a safe area of the workspace. Always stay safe and allow the surveillance CCTV cameras and the authorities take care of it.

  1. Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a major issue in the retail sector, but at times it also happens in offices and other workplaces. Every office or business needs to take steps in order to prevent it.

Identify the signs

Shoplifters frequently exhibit the below behaviours:

  • They don’t make eye contact
  • They spend a lot of time observing workers and exit paths
  • They walk in and out of the workplace many times without talking to anyone or buying anything

What shall we do when we see a person shoplifting

The correct standard procedure for managing shoplifters can vary depending on the regulations and laws of your region or area, and also depends on the business you run (office, shop, etc) and where you are actually located. However, in case you go ahead and confront a shoplifter, these are the general best practices:

  1. Establish probable cause – This means your staff must have witnessed the individual take your goods and try to leave the place without paying for them.
  2. Confronting the shoplifter – If you go ahead and confront the suspect, approach him/her once he/she has exited your premises.

Author Bio: “Iñigo Etxebeste is a London-based digital copywriter passionate about the new technologies and the online universe. He spends his time writing about the topics he loves, travelling as much as he can and playing sports

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.