How to protect your business from increasing aggravated robbery

SAPS Crime Stats on aggravated robbery

Together with house robbery and carjacking, business robbery is one of the crimes that affect us most directly. The recently released SAPS 2008/09 crime statistics show that unfortunately all the gains they’ve made in many areas are being negated by the increases in this trio of crimes.

Business robberies increased by an enormous 41.1%. Contrary to the impression created by the media, it isn’t large shopping centres that are most at risk. It is smaller to medium sized businesses.

To quote the annual report: “It seems as if smaller businesses are targeted because they are mainly cash-based and the target is usually money. In nearly 80% of cases money was taken, while in 43.1% cellular telephones or accessories were taken…Aggravated robberies have become increasingly violent and are now considered the second most important generator of crimes such as murder and attempted murder.”


There are three interesting facts  in the report and Trellidor has some suggestions on what we do about them:

Fact 1: Most of the business robberies occurred at smaller to medium sized businesses.

Solutions: Secure your businesses premises as well as you would your home.

This means physical security barriers on all windows and doors. If you don’t own your premises, come to a compromise with your landlord in terms of what security you’d like and what is permissible. Rather they keep you as a tenant than lose your business because of poor security measures.

Sliding barriers can be fitted to windows and are very practical for businesses. They make window cleaning easy and can be opened up during trading hours. They can be left closed and locked if the business is in a high crime area.

High quality security gates should be fitted to all external doors. Access can be controlled through electric locks and control pads if necessary.

Consider installing Trellidor’s T1000 retractable security gate. It has been internationally certified as the strongest sliding security gate on the market. This design is ideal for buildings that are empty at night.

Fact 2: Most business robberies occur around the opening and closing times of businesses i.e. 18:00 – 20:59 (22.5%) and 09:00-12:00 (16.2%) and most were committed by two to three perpetrators with firearms.

Solutions: Again, the answer is to not allow robbers to get into your premises in the first place, because they are using  weapons more frequently.

“We have to make sure that criminals cannot physically get their hands on us. Reliable security barriers closed and locked at these times help to stop criminals from getting in and stealing your hard-earned cash,” said Peter Rawson, Marketing and Sales Director of  Trellidor.

Trellidor franchises recommend setting up a safe zone for customers and staff to escape to in the event of an invasion by robbers. As an example, this could be a back office. Use top quality burglar guards on all windows and sliding barriers on the doors.

“We strongly suggest that sliding Trellidor gates are fitted to at least one window, to use as an escape route in an emergency such as fire or hostage situation,” said Rawson.

Roller shutters are a good option for shop fronts, back entrances and delivery areas. These shutters can be automated. They close quickly and easily at the touch of a button in an emergency. They are also dual-purpose, acting as both a door and security barrier.

Additional security such as guards that work through these hours instead of changing shift and panic buttons linked to an armed response unit are also recommended.

Fact 3: Business robberies were evenly spread over all days of the week but there was a slight peak (23.3%) on Fridays when most people go shopping and there is an accumulation of cash.

Solutions: Vigilance is key here. Staff must be made aware of this statistic and to be on the alert for potential problems. They also should be trained in what to do if they are suspicious of people that enter the premises.

Increased security, particularly physical barriers, act as a deterrent and should discourage criminals from attempting to rob your premises.

Securing your business properly can be an expensive exercise, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. Call in your nearest Trellidor franchise for help with starting this process. They will advise on the best products for your premises as well as your budget.

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