Areas to Control I-Z

Control - Burglary & Theft

Burglary is any unlawful entry to commit a felony or a theft, even though no force is used to gain entrance.
Retailers whose stores have been broken into know that burglaries are costly. What these business owners may not be aware of is that the number of burglaries has doubled in the past several years and, therefore, they may be two , three or four time losers if the trend is not reversed. Moreover, few burglars are caught; almost 80 percent of burglaries go unsolved. Arrest and prosecution are difficult because of a lack of witnesses or evidence to identify the criminal.

Control Locks, Keys and Safes

  1. Locks – You must have the right kinds on your doors etc
    Be sure to use the right kind of lock on your doors. In addition to being an obstacle to unwanted entry, a strong lock requires a burglar to use force to get into the store. Dead bolt locks (bolts that are moved by turning the knob or key without action of a spring) should be used.

  2. Installing Locks – unless properly installed it’s ineffective
    The best lock is ineffective if it is not properly installed. Have a locksmith check the locks on your exterior doors to be sure they give you the right protection.

  3. Key Control – take the same care as if it was money
    To keep keys from falling into the hands of burglars, issue as few keys as possible and keep a record of those you do issue. Exercise the same care with keys as you would with a thousand dollar bill.

  4. Alarms – many types of alarms all with advantages and disadvantages
    The silent central station burglary alarm system gives your store the best protection because it does not notify the burglar of detection as does the local alarm. A silent alarm alerts only the specialists who know how to handle burglaries. Although a building type local alarm is cheaper and easier to install, it too often only warns the thief and is not considered by specialists to be as effective as a central station alarm.

  5. Lighting – outdoor and indoor lighting keeps burglars away
    Outdoor lighting is another way to shield the store from burglary. Almost all store break ins occur at night. Indoor lighting is also important. When a store is lighted inside, police officers can see people in the store or notice the disorder that burglars usually cause.

  6. Your Safe – make sure it’s strong enough to deter thieves
    Be sure the safe in which you keep your money and other valuables is strong enough to deter burglars. A file cabinet with a combination lock is not a safe. Money should be protected in a burglar resistant money chest.

  7. Make sure you leave the "cupboard bare."
    It is a good idea to keep on hand the barest minimum of cash. Leave your cash register drawer empty and open at night. A burglar will into a closed one, and the damage to your register can be costly.

Vendor theft
Vendor theft accounts for over 40% of retail losses. Strategies to discourage this type of theft can include:

  • Checking items delivered against invoices
  • Ensuring you have staff-only areas clearly marked and with restricted access
  • Documenting all purchases correctly
  • Comparing vendors' packing slips against purchase order forms
  • Keeping a receiving log for all deliveries and, where possible, assigning vendors specific delivery times
  • Documenting returns or exchanges to vendors on an appropriate adjustment form

Customer theft
This type of theft can be minimised by ensuring everyone in your business is alert and follows procedure, as well as being committed to practising customer service.

Strategies to reduce customer theft may include:

  • Acknowledging every customer who enters your business
  • Approaching customers to offer assistance
  • Paying particular attention to - shoppers who loiter - shoppers who move very quickly - shoppers who look at you rather than your stock.
  • Checking returns in case merchandise has been swapped
  • Checking price tickets have not been tampered with
  • Limiting articles to be taken into fitting rooms
  • Using equipment such as security mirrors or cameras to assist in deterrence and detection
  • Checking customers' bags, prams and other items upon leaving the store
  • Preventing customers entering stock rooms or point of sale areas
  • Recording refunds and checking customer identity

Employee theft
This type of theft can be eliminated by ensuring all staff receive adequate training and correct security procedures and policies. Strategies to reduce employee theft can include:

  • Assigning each cashier a different code for using the register
  • Recording all sales in the register
  • Correctly recording all register voids
  • Recording all "no sales" on a log which also records the reason
  • Supporting all refunds through the register by a returns voucher or credit note
  • Giving each customer a register receipt
  • Not allowing staff to have personal possessions at point of sale
  • Requesting that staff enter and exit the store only when necessary
  • Establishing procedures for the removal of rubbish during operating hours
  • Providing lockers or safe places for staff to leave personal belongings
  • Not permitting staff to process their own purchases

(Acknowledgment - Some sections from Aust. Govt Business Sources)