With a Post Office worker injured and cash stolen from Lidl today in two separate raids, the question on many people's minds is bound to be, how can we prevent this and how do we manage the risk to businesses with cash on their premises? What is the perfect security solution? Martin Crothers, a recent past President of the ISIA, spoke to Audrey Carville from RTE on the topic. For those of you that missed the interview, which aired on Radio 1 Drive Time just after 16:30, we have highlighted some of the key points below.
According to a news article in the Sunday World, there were more cash robberies in Ireland in the first two months of this year than there were in all of 2011. So there is no doubting the fact that certain types of crime are on the rise. In the 1980's in Ireland there were high rates of crime and a frequency of raids too, but as security and security systems improved the frequency of these attacks decreased. So, where do we go now?
Today's raid on the Post Office was not successful, but the robbery at Lidl on Thomas Street was. What security challenges do these types of businesses face and how can the risks to their people and their business be managed? First of all, the premises itself could offer challenges. Very often shops and post offices are in old buildings that have not been purpose built. That in itself can cause difficulty. Also, you might have put in certain security measures that the criminals are suddenly a step ahead. Then there is the human element to consider. As was pointed out in today's interview, if you have someone in a balaclava standing over you with a gun to your head, the security procedures may not spring to mind. So how does a business combat that?
When we consider these types of challenges it could lead us to feel that there is simply nothing that can be done. There certainly isn't a perfect security solution, but that doesn't mean that we cannot continuously work towards improving security and preventing robberies and raids such as those in Dublin today. As already highlighted, as security advances so do the criminals. Therefore, it is important that the security industry and the business community is always a step ahead. This means prioritising security every day. It must be a part of every person's job each day, particularly when you are a business that holds cash. Security should be continuously reviewed and upgraded and that is not limited to systems, but should be extended to the people in the business. Training needs should also be reviewed and risks continuously assessed.
Regularly reviewing systems, assessing how the systems can be improved and upgraded may require investment, but it could prevent a robbery. The human element cannot be entirely controlled nor can the criminals, but through regular training, regular reviews of procedures and regular risk assessments you can at least ensure that you have done every thing possible to make an attempted robbery an unsuccessful robbery.
Security should not be an after thought, it should be a priority and one of your key risk management tools. What we have outlined above and what was outlined in today's interview is not a perfect security solution, a perfect solution does not exist, but it is as close as you are going to get.