10 Mar Almost half of all robberies are armed robberies
According to the latest government statistics on robbery in Australia, 43% of all robberies will involve the use of a weapon.
What does this mean for the owners and staff of retail businesses?
In the event of a robbery occuring at the store during opening hours, staff and customers are at high risk of being threatened or harmed by a person with criminal intent who is armed with a gun, knife, or other weapon.
Still, many retail stores have been cutting back on security guard services, or failing to integrate security guard services within their updated retail store security strategies.
“As one of the leading retail security system installers in Melbourne, we are always happy to design and install state-of-the-art store security systems including the latest CCTV systems,” said Michael Hart, managing director of ILA Security Services.
“The fact is, however, that the only effective deterrent is the presence of a real-life security guard,” Michael said.
Consider risk to staff and customers from armed robberies
“Losses can occur at any time of the day or night. Store robberies taking place while the store is actually in operation are another matter. There are not only the financial losses and damages to be considered, but the trauma and possible harm caused to staff and customers by an armed robber using a weapon to intimidate and threaten.”
Michael Hart, a military-trained specialist in commercial and industrial security, is emphatic about the deployment of guards in retail situations – particularly in high-risk customer-facing environments such as pharmacies, jewellery stores, late-night stores, and medical clinics.
CCTV footage can only capture evidence of a crime once it has occured. Thieves know that the response-time for security systems can be very slow, even when the system is monitored, an alarm is raised, and incidents-in-progress are reported to police. Knowing that a window of time exists for them to get away with the proceeds of a crime, it is only a matter of having to cover-up with a hoodie and sunglasses for them to be virtually unidentifiable in the camera footage.
Security guards to augment security systems
“It can be extremely difficult for business owners to see the return-on-investment from the more costly security guard services. There is no way of knowing how many robberies or armed robberies were prevented by having a security guard. It might take one year with guards, and one year without guards, to compare the number of incidents in each case,” Michael said.
“When I’ve encouraged businesses to do this kind of analysis after we’ve installed a security system for them, it often happpens that after a year or so we find the business wanting to hire security guards again, at least while the store or clinic is open to the public, to augment the evidence-capturing capabilities of the security systems.”