Updated: Nov 1
Perhaps you own a retail business that has had an increasing number of thefts. Or perhaps you work for a company that offers services but you've seen an increase in verbal and even physical abuse to your staff. Or perhaps you manage a warehouse and there has been an increasing number of break-ins or thefts. Or perhaps you've had people enter your property and vandalize or done other forms of mischief. You're getting frustrated with the increase in crime and are not exactly sure what to do about it. The police can only do so much, and it's usually too late by the time they do step in (often no fault of theirs, it's just the nature of how they operate). Perhaps you've even thought about hiring security but are not sure if makes sense or what the best ways of going about it is.
As a personal safety and security training company, we have seen these scenarios across all industries in Alberta and we are starting to get more and more questions around what small to large organizations can do to be more proactive against crime. In this article, we'll break down some of your best options to reduce your chances of being a victim of different types of crime, from physical assault to property to theft to break-and-enters.
Here are some of the top criminal activity for most organizations and how to address them proactively to reduce the risk of being targeted.
For verbally assaultive behaviour:
Know your policies and basic laws, be able to communicate these empathetically, and have an emergency plan in place. Our Client Communications course is excellent for teaching what authorities you have as civilians and if, when and how to communicate these. Organizations from numerous industries from government relations to retail customer service have taken this course and found it extremely helpful.
For emotionally escalated clients that you fear may turn physically assaultive:
Get a thorough security assessment done. This should include a risk assessment, vulnerability assessment and threat assessment. It not only determines who the threat actors are, but what they want, and how they are a threat. This can then lead to recommendations in safety policies and procedures, hardened physical security and more.
For break-and-enters or vandalism (mischief):
Get a CPTED assessment done. Whether you have a large facility, or a home-based business, a CPTED assessment looks at the property and buildings on the property to determine vulnerable points and if the property looks like an "easy target", to turn it into a location that would be more difficult to do criminal activity on using different physical and psychological strategies. If crime does happen, it also includes how the community can work together to watch out for each other, see it happening and call it into the authorities. This assessment goes far beyond recommending good locks and lighting, which most people have these days anyway.
Consider hiring a contract security company. Depending on the value of the assets that have been stolen, you may want to consider hiring standard guards for lower asset values and hire security specializing in loss prevention for higher asset values or higher volumes of low value asset values.
This list is not exhaustive, but it covers the most common types of offenses that have the greatest impact to the operations of an organization. To find out more, please contact us and we'd be happy to discuss options with you for your organization and the challenges that it faces.