What To Do In An Armed Robbery?

25 May, 2023

Nearly 67,000 robberies took place in the UK in 2021/2022, of which about half involved a weapon. An armed robbery occurs when one person or several persons steal from another using violence or threats of violence while armed with an offensive weapon. While there are steps that you can take to prevent robberies from occurring, an armed robbery can take place anywhere, at any time. It’s important to prepare for the possibility so that you know how to respond in the event of an incident.

The University of Southern California have excellent tips on what to do in a robbery scenario:

1.    Stay Calm

Staying calm is easier said than done, but take one moment to take a deep breath and recognise the situation that you have been placed in. Acknowledge the demands being made by the robber. It helps to verbalise what is going on and how you are going to act. For example, you could make simple statements, such as, “You want the money in my wallet/cash register. I’m going to hand it to you now.”


2.     Do Not Fight Back

Do not antagonise the robber by trying to fight back or negotiate. If the robber appears to have a weapon, consider it real and that they are willing to use it to harm you. Do not resist.


3.    Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Follow the robber’s instructions. If you are an employee in a store, place the money on the counter so that they can easily grab it and move away. Once you’ve handed over the money, move away from them and alert your coworkers if you can do so safely. Keep an eye out for a possible escape route if necessary, but don’t make sudden movements.

4.    Pay Attention To The Robber

Make a mental note of the robber’s appearance, including their age, height, weight, accent, scars, tattoos, clothing and other details. The police may need this information to find and charge the suspect. Make a mental note of the time and the items that they have taken as well.


5.    Do Not Take Action Until They Leave

Do not rush to call the police or chase after the robber, as this may cause them to panic and become aggressive. Wait until they have left before taking action. Once they have left, lock the premises and do not let any witnesses leave. Save any notes passed by the robber or take care not to disturb the scene of the crime too much.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While it’s not always possible to prevent a robbery from taking place, you can take measures to secure your property and deter potential robbers. Security screens can act as a visual and physical deterrent against robbers by creating a physical barrier that is resistant to physical, armed, or liquid-based attacks. Safetell has provided numerous public and private organisations, from retailers to banks to government buildings, with custom security solutions designed to protect businesses, employees, and visitors during armed robberies.

Contact Safetell if you would like to know more.