The COVID-19 outbreak has changed many things over the last few weeks. Coronavirus has had a massive effect on our nation’s health and the way we interact with society. Unfortunately this has also had a significant impact on the commercial sector – both fiscally and the risk of increased anti-social and criminal behaviour in our stores.
We must all work together to get through these unprecedented times. The impact of the coronavirus has been significant and one that has effected many communities, including the business community.
In these challenging times there is inevitably some concern and panic within the community. I can assure you that we will continue to protect our communities and prevent crime.
Officers are on duty providing a visible presence within their communities, in line with Government guidance. We would ask you as a business owner in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to help us keep people safe by following these helpful tips.
Below are some general crime prevention tips that may assist your organisations in this time. The impact on stores will vary and will naturally be defined by its location, size, customers, produce and its security.
Our crime reduction team are available for strategic support and connectivity where needed. Visit https://www.leics.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/ for further advice.
Closed premises / venues that have been temporarily shut:
- Test your security alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational
- Ensure all external doors and windows are locked and secure
- Review your CCTV, ensure it covers vulnerable areas, records good images
- Consider an app so you can monitor CCTV remotely
- Remove high value items from view, and where possible remove from location.
- Remove all cash from the premises
- Have an up to date list of key holders and contact numbers
- Test your fire alarm and check is it in good working order
- Ensure combustible material is removed i.e. empty packaging/waste paper
Large gatherings / queuing
- Premises should be adequately staffed with prominent management present who are able to make decisions or be identifiable to emergency services
- Meet and greets on main entrances to provide reassurance, customer care and deter prospective thieves
- Where appropriate 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 there is commensurate security, and staff in this area and the main entrances. Some customer may be anxious,
- Good communication between staff and customers is key to reduce anti-social behaviour
- Ensure that all staff are fully briefed each day on emergency procedures and working practices
- All staff should remain vigilant and report any violence or suspicious activity to the police
- Check that your emergency equipment/grab bags, first aid supplies and radio communication systems are operational
- Consider deploying staff to areas that store goods which could be a potential flash point
- Check and test your building security and emergency systems
If your staff fall victim to an assault or witness violence in your premises
- remain calm and think of safety: yours, your customers and colleagues is paramount. Create a distance between the aggressive party and others
- Use calming language and tone to try and defuse the situation
- Use furniture, doors and other structures to form barrier between the aggressor and others
- Contact the police and ask for assistance. If the person is present and aggressive/violent then use 999 or installed panic alarm
- If the aggressor has left then note description, direction of travel, any vehicle used
- Reassure staff and members of the public, taking details of witnesses
Leicestershire Police officers, staff and partners are fully committed to promoting a safe environment during this difficult period. Working together we hope to reduce and defuse incidents of disorder and reassure the public. Criminal offences will be investigated and were appropriate arrests made.
The following web-page contains our contact details https://www.leics.police.uk/contact/cubp/contact-us/