October 15, 2009 10:25:00 AM
Most criminals are opportunists. But when it comes to crimes against businesses, the criminals usally aren''t the ones creating the opportunities.
Business owners, managers and employees can make criminals'' work risky and difficult by reducing criminal opportunity in and around their property.
Business premise security is one of the most important aspects of practicing solid crime prevention tactics. Burglary is a big business and to help prevent it, good locking, ample lighting and dependable alarm systems play a crucial role.
However, locks and alarms can''t prevent a burglary unless they''re in use. The last employees out each night should establish a routine for "closing up shop." Lock doors, close windows and set the alarm.
The following are additional steps businesses can take to avoid being a target:
n Greet people who enter your business.
Personal contact can deter crime. A burglar does not want to be identified and robbing strangers with as little human contact as possible is safer.
Try to look each customer in their eyes. It decreases their element of surprise, threatens them with the possibility of being identified later and makes it harder for them to loiter in the store and watch you unnoticed.
n Keep a friendly eye on all customers.
This also helps prevent shoplifting. Pay particular attention to young males, anyone wearing clothes that could conceal a weapon or merchandise, or those who loiter over a trivial item.
Be aware of customers who are behaving in a suspicious manner. They could be casing the business for burglary, robbery, or shoplifting.
n Keep all areas used by patrons well-lit.
n Keep as little money as possible in the cash register and be sure to display notices that minimal cash is kept on the premises.
Bank deposits can be used to reduce how much cash is on hand. When taking money to the bank, try not to use obvious money bags and never count cash in the presence of customers when clearing the register.
Leave empty cash drawers open after closing.
n Install some type of alarm system and check it regularly to ensure it is working properly.
n Make sure all doors and windows have secure locks on them.
Use deadbolts on doors with glass panels. Replace hollow core doors with solid core doors. Burglars can kick in a weak door.
n If a burglar does get in, make sure they will be visible from the outside. Well-lit, open spaces with low counters and uncluttered display windows keep the burglar in the spotlight.