31st March 2020

This advice and guidance was updated in January 2021.

As many businesses prepare to close again on a temporary basis, while other essential retailers will offer reduced trading hours over the coming weeks, the Police have developed a range of operational and patrolling strategies that will be implemented to meet service demand.

To help prevent crime and reduce harm against your business, staff and customers, below is some advice and guidance from the PSNI (which is not exhaustive and will vary in relevance from business to business).

If you have temporarily closed your business:

  • Conduct a full security check of your premises.
  • Test your alarm & ensure it is fully operational.
  • Identify any vulnerable areas. Rectify these. Ensure internal doors, security gates, bollards and fire exit doors have been secured prior to closure of premises.
  • Move high value items into secured locations (if practical).
  • Remove cash from the premises and install signage stating all cash or valuables have been removed.

Building trade

  • Conduct a full security check and rectify any identified vulnerability.
  • Where possible, remove machinery to secure monitored/alarmed locations or ensure machines are appropriately  immobilised
  • Consider removing high value material and tools into secure monitored/alarmed locations.

If your business is providing essential services:

If your staff are assaulted or witness violence in your premises

  • Try to remain calm – the safety of you, your customers and colleagues is paramount. If the perpetrator has left the premises, record a description and report the incident to police as soon as possible.
  • Trust your instincts and maximise distance between yourself, customers, colleagues and any aggressive parties.
  • Adhere to corporate conflict and exit contingency plans.
  • If there is a hold-up/panic alarm installed use it if required, but only when safe to do so.
  • Consider using body worn video, if available, to capture evidence and positively influence the behaviour of those involved in violence on your premises.

Large Gatherings/Queuing

  • Premises should be adequately staffed with appropriate management present who can make decisions or be identifiable to emergency services.
  • Consider an allocation system or queuing to provide items that are provided on a limited basis – or possible keeping these off shop floor for collection.
  • Remember to follow social distancing measures, have staff meet and greet customers at entrances to provide reassurance and a subliminal message to any prospective thieves.
  • Where possible SIA licensed security officers should have a visible presence on the premises in strategic areas
  • Establish queueing contingency plans, including any car parking areas, and ensure appropriate security/ staffing levels.

Reassurance to customers, some of whom may be anxious, is key to reducing anti-social behaviour.

  • Ensure all staff are briefed each day on emergency procedures, working practices and Public Health guidance.
  • Staff should remain vigilant and report any violence or suspicious activity to the police.
  • Consider minimising the number of entry points to your building in concert with fire egress points.
  • Ensure that your emergency equipment/grab bags, first aid supplies and radio communication systems are operational.
  • Check and test your building security and emergency systems.

If you have any queries or advice, please contact CITYBEAT direct on 07795607576