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holiday season

How to Deter Criminals This Holiday

The holiday season is essentially here and, for many retail stores and other businesses, this is a very busy time of year. It’s also a busy time of year for criminals. Much like honest shoppers, criminals view the holiday season as an opportunity to get new things. However, unlike honest shoppers, they want to steal their gifts from unsuspecting businesses.

To protect your business and your assets, it’s important to take some time to understand criminals and what they’re looking for when they commit crimes.

Criminals Look for Unprotected Locations

A criminal would much rather break into a location that is lacking adequate security than deal with alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and – especially – physical security gates. Smash and grab robberies are popular because criminals can break through a door or window, steal what they can, and leave before police can respond to an alarm. To protect your property, make sure you have physical security gates installed on all doors and windows.

Not only will these tools make it much more difficult to gain access, but they’ll also deter criminals from even considering your property as a target. This is why visible security gates, as opposed to tools such as window film, are so effective. Not only do they stop criminals, but they also let criminals know that your business is secure.

Criminals Aim to Distract

A common tactic that many shoplifters use is distraction. They take advantage of the busy holiday season when stores are filled with customers and there may not be enough staff members in the store. Then they strike. For example, if a criminal realizes that a store has only one staff member working, and that this person is behind the register checking out several customers, criminals see this as a good opportunity to strike. They know that the person behind the register is busy and so they likely won’t be spotted stealing.

In fact, some criminals work together to create their own distractions. In these crimes, two or more criminals work together in an organized effort to steal. One person will engage a staff member by asking several questions or making a complicated purchase or return. While that person is keeping the sales staff busy, another person will steal from the store.

To prevent these crimes, it’s important to ensure that your store is always adequately staffed. This can be tough to do during the holiday season, but vital for business security.

Criminals Don’t Want to Be Seen

Criminals look for opportunities to strike when they won’t be seen. They prefer to rob businesses that aren’t very well lit, for example. They also want to hide when shoplifting. If your store has high shelves or discrete corners where criminals can hide, they’ll take advantage of these locations to place items in their pockets or bags while they can’t be seen.

Review your store’s layout and take action to ensure that you’re not giving criminals the hiding places they desire.

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  • Ron

    My loss prevention clients have also told me puting over stock items on the top of the gondolas, blocks the vision of the clerks who are wlking the floor. keep sight lines clear.