Recently my wife and I suffered a ‘high trauma crime’: we were burgled. It happened at 1.15 am and we were awoken by our alarms going off as we live above our shop. We got out of bed, went down stairs and unlocked the shop.
We were not really prepared for what confronted us – three intruders emptying our tobacco gantry. One of them came out from behind our shop counter and confronted us. As he got within 6 feet I grabbed the nearest thing to hand, a card spinner, and threw it at him. He threw several bottles of wine at us and we made a hasty retreat back into our home, closed the door and phoned the police.
Not really very clever, but we got out safely, if somewhat shaken up by the experience. There is always a great deal to do following this sort of assault on one’s business, so here are some of the lessons I learnt:
1. Let the alarm do what it is designed to do and don’t interfere.
2. Put a process in place to protect one’s personal safety.
3. Put a list together of contact names and phone numbers – staff, key suppliers (particularly companies that deliver daily), your insurance company including your policy number and schedule, and trade associations to which you belong.
4. Tell your customers why you are closed.
5. Take a look at your shop and personal/family security regularly.