How to survive a robbery

“Injuries or death during an attack are a business owner’s worst nightmare,” said Grant Dunnington, CEO of SBV Services. “By their very nature, robberies are terrifying and unpredictable and, while no one knows exactly what will happen when violence is aimed at your business, it’s crucial that your employees are empowered to reduce the chances of people being killed.

Beyond cash management solutions, at SBV Services we believe in protecting human life and strive to empower the business community with knowledge about how to save lives when under attack and offer tips on how to survive a robbery.

Just how staff respond to an unexpected, potentially violent situation can literally mean the difference between life and death – and the better prepared a workforce is, the less likely it is that somebody is going to be hurt or killed.

Preparing your employees for a robbery sounds easier said than done, but it is possible. “The first step is to ensure that all employees have been taught how to use all of the security features at a business’s premises,” Dunnington said.

“While this is done as a preventative measure, it is imperative that the training does not create a sense of unease or panic.”

In a robbery, employees should remember the following:

· Stay calm. Resistance could provoke the attackers into becoming aggressive and can only result in tragedy.

· Follow the perpetrators’ instructions. It’s human nature for people to volunteer to do more than has been asked of them, just to get the ordeal over with as quickly as possible. However, robbers often interpret such behaviour as a trap, causing them to panic.

· Should your employees need to move around in response to the attackers’ instructions, they must vocalise every action while keeping their hands in open sight. If they tell the robbers exactly what they are about to do, the robbers won’t think they are being unco-operative.

· Stay alert. Mentally recording everything you can about the robbers – their races, ages, clothing, eye colour or distinct features such as tattoos and piercings, as well as everything they touch (should they not be wearing gloves), will help to catch the perpetrators after the event.

· When the robbers are about to leave or are leaving, don’t look them in the eye or try to run after them.

· As soon as the robbers leave, ensure that everyone at the premises is safe; go into a secure location or lock up the premises to call the police – just in case the robbers come back.

· Ask everyone who witnessed the incident to stay put until the police arrive and have taken statements.

· While waiting for the police, leave the crime scene exactly as it was left by the robbers.

Sipho Siso

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