The National Business Crime Centre(NBCC) has provided Retail Express with a 16 point plan for preventing in-store crime.

Georgina Barnard, temporary/detective chief inspector of the NBCC responded to a request for help from retailers in Lancashire that had experienced a spate of racially motivated burglaries.

She commented: “The NBCC focus at Christmas is safety and security and we urge, whatever the type or size of business, to please plan ahead; remain alert and to focus all staff to be aware of the following practical advice.”

See below for the 16 point plan:

  • Identify the risks to your business and target harden your assets. Make sure you have sufficient security measures, check alarms and CCTV are working and have a clear policy for alerting others of any suspicious activity
  • There should always be a Minimum of 2 members of staff on the shop floor at any one time.
  • Control the main entrance and flow of people coming into the store. EVERY customer should be spoken and good eye contact made. This is called ‘meet and greet’ and it works! It indicates that you know a person is in your store.
  • Join your local Lancashire Partnership Against Crime Group. Quite simply this will provide local support to your businesses, where information and useful intelligence can be shared. It offers an opportunity to link in with fellow retailers. Some partnerships can introduce a radio system.
  • Stores might consider regulating the number of customers in their store at any one times. This can be done by using a handheld remote key fob on the door to engage the mag lock.
  • Ensure that there is working, clean and well positioned CCTV in operation and staff can access it. Some new CCTV offer a vocal capacity so that staff can challenge customers from the counter.
  • Declutter front windows and the counter area. Consider elevating the height of your counter.
  • Control access to any private areas.  If for example there is an interconnecting door behind the counter leading to a hall and stairs, ensure that this door is closed and locked with a fire egress locking mechanism. A PAS 24 model would be perfect.
  • Use reinforced doors for the area containing valuables-these could be PAS24 or provided with additional security mechanisms such as deadlocks, London and Birmingham bars.
  • Lock valuable personal possessions in a safe located in a secluded location, bolted to the floor, to the requisite security and insurance standards.
  • Consider property marking, such as SmartWater for jewellery-use their signage on store façade to openly advertise this fact
  • A panic button can be placed in discreet area behind counter
  • In case of having to call Emergency Services DO make sure your staff know the address of your premises
  • Have a clear policy for reporting incidents, both to the police and internally and have an available practical and up to date record of ‘out of hours’ staff contact names and numbers
  • Ensure lone workers ‘check in’ regularly with family or colleagues. Visit NBCC website for further practical support
  • ‘Get Safe on line’ are running a Christmas advice page for the public, the advice is still sound for businesses: