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Home Employers Merry and safe: Enhancing security measures for the holiday season
Merry and safe: Enhancing security measures for the holiday season

Merry and safe: Enhancing security measures for the holiday season

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Imagine this: the busy streets lit up with twinkling lights, the smell of festive treats filling the air, and people on the hunt for the perfect gifts. It’s Christmas time, but it’s also when Christmas security concerns start to grow. 

Christmas means happiness and parties, but it also attracts people who want to take advantage of the chaos. Things like shoplifting, employee fraud, problems with handling cash, and physical fights become more common. But no need to worry, this easy to follow blog will give you the Christmas security tricks you need to get through the holiday season without any worries. From spotting specific problems to putting in place ways to stop them, and tips just for the holidays, this blog is your ticket to making sure your customers and staff have a safe and joyful holiday season.

Seasonal security threats:

The holiday rush brings a set of unique challenges:

Shoplifting: 

With increased crowds and expensive merchandise, the opportunity for petty theft rises. The Centre for Retail Research revealed that shoplifting during Christmas in the UK can cost retailers up to £1.4 billion annually, which is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The BBC reports that police are under pressure to crack down on shoplifting, after the number of offences rose by 24% in England and Wales in 2022-23.

Employee Fraud: 

Holiday stress and financial pressure can tempt even the most loyal employees to involve themselves in internal theft. Identity fraud went up by more than a 5th in 2022, and experts are saying it’s gonna hit its peak during the Christmas shopping craze in the UK. Studies reveal a whopping 21% rise in identity fraud over the past year, and they’re betting it’s gonna get even worse during the festive season. 

Cash Handling: 

As cash transactions surge, so does the risk of robberies. Tightening cash handling procedures is crucial to safeguard against potential losses. According to the data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there has been a 17% increase in robbery offences (which involves theft or attempted theft with the use or threat of force) from previous years.

Physical Altercations:

When there’s loads of folks around, and the drinks are flowing, things can get a bit heated. It’s a recipe for disagreements or even full-blown fights to break out. In fact, alcohol was a particularly prevalent factor in violent incidents between strangers, with 64% of such incidents being perceived to be alcohol-related.

Prevention Strategies:

Physical Security 

Entrance and Exit Control:

Physical security

Keep an eye out for anything suspicious by having alert door supervisors at entrances and exits. They’re the first line of defence. A watchful presence to discourage troublemakers. Ask relevant, non-accusatory questions about large bags, concealed items, or unusual behaviour. Politely request inspections if warranted.

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Loss Prevention Strategies:

Stop shoplifters in their tracks with smart strategies. Use the technology smartly, Did you need key cards? Or do physical keys do your work effectively? Consider biometric systems also. Use CCTV surveillance, security tags, and regular bag checks to make potential thieves think twice.And don’t just keep the security footage to yourself – share it with your team to keep everyone on high alert. 

Access Control:

Door supervisor

During the holiday rush, as doors spin and hands move swiftly, unauthorised individuals can easily slip into off-limits zones such as stockrooms and cash registers. Now, your inventory, cash flow, and overall security are vulnerable. Not everyone needs access to the stockrooms and cash registers. Keep those areas restricted to authorised personnel only. This simple step minimises the risk of internal issues. Identify access need ask these 2 questions to your selves:

Who needs access? Categorise employees based on their roles and responsibilities. Managers need cash register access, while stocking crews only need stockroom access.

What areas need restricting? Clearly define sensitive areas like cash offices, and stockrooms.

Lighting and Visibility:

A well-lit environment is a powerful crime deterrent. Create a safe environment. Brighten up walkways and parking areas. 

  • Consider motion-sensor lights to activate illumination as people approach. 
  • Use spotlights or floodlights to draw attention to entrances and exits.
  • Install wall-mounted sconces or overhead pendant lights to reach shadowy corners.
  • Combine ambient lighting with directional task lighting where needed, like near cash registers or product displays.
  • Maintain good lighting in stockrooms and employee areas to minimise the risk of accidents and internal theft.

Employee Training:

Employee training

Train your team to recognize and report potential issues. Teach your crew to spot these warning signs:

  • Loitering: Keep an eye out for people hanging around exits, entrances, or pricey merchandise with no clear reason.
  • Forced interaction: Watch for customers trying to distract staff or create diversions.
  • Bulky clothing: Be wary of anyone hiding items under baggy clothes or large bags.
  • Tampering with tags or packaging: If someone’s messing with security tags or changing packaging, that’s a red flag.
  • Cash transactions with large bills: Especially for small purchases, this can be a sign of trouble.
  • Unusual payment methods: Look out for counterfeit money, expired IDs, or hesitant attempts to pay.
  • Observation: Take note if someone seems to be memorising security routines or employee movements.

Encourage quick reporting through:

  • Dedicated hotlines: Giving the option to stay anonymous can make people more likely to report.
  • Simple reporting forms: Make it easy for your team to report with straightforward forms and clear instructions.
  • Direct communication with supervisors or security personnel.

Cash Handling Procedures:

Set up a straightforward system for dealing with cash. Train your crew to spot counterfeit money and count cash effectively. Make handling cash a breeze with these steps:

  • Count money twice: First when you get it and again before you deposit it.
  • Minimise cash handlers: Keep the number of people handling cash to a minimum.
  • Keep clear records and receipts: Good records help keep things straight.
  • Use secure cash registers: Limit access to keep things secure.
  • Deposit cash regularly during busy times.

De-escalation Techniques:

De-escalation Techniques:

Equip your team with skills to defuse tense situations. Practise role-playing scenarios to boost confidence in conflict resolution. Help your staff handle conflicts with finesse:

  • Stay calm and professional: Keep your cool in any situation.
  • Listen actively: Acknowledge customer concerns and show you’re paying attention.
  • Avoid confrontational language: Steer clear of arguments or accusations.
  • Offer solutions: Provide alternatives and options.
  • Set clear boundaries: Enforce store policies calmly but firmly.
  • Involve security personnel for tougher situations.

Security Technology and Automation:

Picture this –You discover a breach. It’s every business owner’s nightmare. But fear not, there’s a guardian angel in the form of technology. Security alarms and monitoring systems are like watchful sentinels, scaring off troublemakers and, if need be, sounding the alarm for a rapid response. It’s your silent Christmas security partner.

Emergency situations can strike like lightning, leaving you scrambling for a lifeline. Imagine having a panic button at your fingertips, ready to summon help without a fuss. Panic buttons or duress alarms are your lifeline in the face of danger. Quick, discreet communication becomes your shield in times of crisis.

Use these technological allies. Security alarms, and panic buttons. Arm yourself, protect your turf, and let technology be your silent partner in the battle for Christmas security and peace of mind.

Conclusion:

As we finish up, Make your Christmas security stronger as much as you can. Follow the ideas we talked about in this blog. Protect your business and make sure everyone has a safer and more fun holiday time. So, get ready, keep a close eye out, and let’s make this season genuinely Merry and Safe.

With GuardPass, you can find over 140,000 security professionals, with verified SIA licences. In search of qualified CCTV operators, retail security officers, or door supervisors? GuardPass has got you covered. Post your job or sift through our CV database – we get more than 60 applicants per job on average!

Embrace GuardPass your go-to platform for hiring security professionals! 

With GuardPass, you can find over 140,000 security professionals, with verified SIA licences. In search of qualified CCTV operators, retail security officers, or door supervisors? GuardPass has got you covered. Post your job or sift through our CV database – we get more than 60 applicants per job on average!

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