Effective Crime Prevention Strategies
I am often involved in conversations regarding crime prevention with management and law enforcement reference what effective crime prevention strategies work. Even when it comes to other law enforcement officials, I find a number of them scratching their heads and pondering on how certain crimes against a business even occurred.
There is no one size fit all when it comes to crime prevention. However, there are certain elements that do exist and if implemented properly can reduce and eliminate crime from your business.
I have put together five elements of crime prevention that will help you combat crimes against your business:
Combating crime begins with a solid plan. Although this process can be tedious work, you should take the necessary steps to put your plan on paper. Your plan of action should be developed in your Policy/Procedures and you will immediately see effective crime prevention strategies begin to work. Verbal policies don’t stand alone!
When I was in the police academy, one of the instructors told us to “Expect the Unexpected”. Not only was that adage appropriate for the cadets, but it applies to every aspect of life.
I can guarantee you that the criminal element is planning right now as you read this article. So make sure your planning ahead and this activity remains fluid.
Areas to include in your planning:
- Physical Security – Focus on Alarm Systems and Lighting
- Personnel Risks – Pre/Post Employment Background Checks, theft, embezzlement, etc.
- Breach of Data – Managing passwords, access to authorized areas, access to sensitive data
- Procurement Risks – Managing and Monitoring Vendors/Contractors
- Policies and Procedures – An Operations Manual with specifics for different departments.
The objective here is to make certain that security is an integral part of every aspect of your company.
It is imperative that you educate your self and staff on types of crime, crime prevention strategies, and when to get law enforcement involved. Find classes that you can take in person or online. The are numerous resources you can find online to locate upcoming classes. Some require prerequesites and others don’t. Also, join an organization who speak and teach on this subject or reach out to local law enforcement.
Educating yourself and personnel about effective crime prevention strategies will have a huge impact on how you conduct business.
Your education in this area should be continuous!
There is a adage : ” An ounce of prevention is worth and pound of cure”. The more prevention you take and implement, there better you can control your business security risks.
If an incident arises and there is a employee involved, be willing to have an open discussion about the incident. Let the employee know you will be watching their work, and they must be careful on their quality of work. You can do this without threatening an employee.
Should you have to take progressive discipline, make sure you document as you go!
Additionally, as you see fit, be willing to give associates the opportunity to make corrective behavior and correct their mistakes.
Make certain you put the proper safeguards and measures in place to prevent crime from occurring. Have weekly meetings with staff to discuss security issues among other important topics.
Take a look at your cash handling policy, debit/credit card acceptance policy, and checking different forms of identification. If you don’t have these type policies in place NOW is the time to create and implement.
Let me be perfectly honest, not all crimes will appear on your radar. If you cannot catch a crime in progress, try to put certain systems in place to detect and give you specific indicators that something wrong just occurred. Depending on the type of crime committed, you may not know until days, weeks, or months after.
Look at your shipping/receiving process, inventory control, audits, key performance indicators, Point of Sales (P.O.S) too many voids/returns, skimming devices, etc.
When you put the right detection processes in place, you will begin to make your job less complicated. Let employees know that it is your job and theirs to protect the company’s assets.
It should be clear and known that you reserve the right to prosecute and when deemed necessary to terminate for offenses committed against your company.
This does not have to be something you hang over your employee heads, but should be part of your orientation process, handbook, and policy.
All employees who work for you and your company must know about the consequences of violating company policy/procedures and the law.
Improve on these elements by reading my previous post on 5 Proven Ways to Make Your Business Security More Effective Now.