08 September, 2022
Convenience store crime is increasing rapidly, with more than 9,059 robberies reported over the course of a single year. While security measures like CCTV can go a long way towards catching and identifying criminals, they are not sufficient deterrents or a means of stopping an attack or limiting harm to staff or merchandise.
Screens, on the other hand, are a low-cost, highly effective solution as they provide a visual deterrent as well as form a protective barrier between a possible violent assailant and staff, stock, cash and property.
According to forensic sociologist Rosemary J Erickson, screens are a highly effective solution to convenience store robberies as it decreases the likelihood of burglars targeting a store.
During a robbery, criminals want to leave the premises as quickly as possible with the items they’ve stolen. Anything that may slow them down or extend the time spent in the store (e.g. an uncooperative staff member protected by a screen, a physical barrier at the exit) makes the target less attractive. Most criminals will target the easiest and least risky option.
While convenience stores stock items that have a high value on the black market, such as cigarettes, razor blades, and alcohol, these items are often kept behind the counter. By providing a barrier between the criminal and the goods, the criminal and the convenience store clerk, and the criminal and the exit, businesses can prevent attacks long before they happen.
In contrast to other commercial robberies, bank robberies have steadily declined over the past decade – as have the average value of the money lost and the odds of staff being injured during a robbery. This decline can’t be attributed to cameras or guards, as most banks have had cameras in place since the early 1990s, and guards often increase the odds of violent attacks occurring. Perhaps the most significant change has been the adoption of security screens, which have increased 25% in the last ten years. Many robbers have stated that they specifically target banks that lack bullet-resistant screens.
Closed circuit cameras have poor picture quality and are often mounted at an angle and height that make identification difficult. At the same time, guards pose an inherent threat to criminals that may lead to escalating situations. In contrast, screens are passive security measures that don’t antagonise criminals and increase the comfort and confidence of employees without disrupting business operations.
Protecting workers from harm is imperative for most convenience stores. Retail violence has increased by more than 650% in the last five years, resulting in more than 100 violent attacks every day.
According to the ACS Crime Report 2022, there have been 970,000 incidents of theft, 800,000 incidents of verbal abuse and more than 9,000 recorded by convenience store retailers across the UK in 2021.
Security screen systems can provide physical protection for both employees and items behind a counter, separating them from potential assailants without disrupting normal business operations. This can go a long way to making staff feel valued, protected and confident.
Safetell produces best-in-class security screen solutions for various sectors that create a secure space and physical protection for staff and high-value stock.
Materials and sizing can be tailored to the needs of the retailer, but all provide a level of protection to staff, as well as a strong visual deterrent from criminal activities, including robbery and burglary threats – without impacting day-to-day interactions between staff and customers.
These screens do not guarantee that armed robberies or thefts won’t occur at retail stores but can significantly minimise the likelihood of these events occurring. Seeing a screen installed over countertop systems at your convenience or retail store may force thieves to think twice about targeting a specific location. They also decrease the likelihood of smash and grab forced entry scenarios where thieves grab items and take off with valuable merchandise.
In addition to stopping the loss of merchandise or cash, these screens may create environments where employees and customers feel safer and more secure, minimising violent incidents and associations with violent crime for the business.
If you believe that your facility could benefit from screens, security partitioning or security doors, get in touch with Safetell today. We offer a variety of cost-effective solutions for the retail sector and can help you choose the best options for your needs, customising them to suit your building and protection needs.