Violent attacks on South African businesses rose 14% in the past year, according to official SAPS1 crime statistics.
Most of these attacks – in which people were injured and even killed – were aimed at one thing: relieving businesses of their cash on hand. For cash-handling micro, small or medium businesses, the consequences of these robberies (18 615 of them in 2013/14)1 are as obvious as they are often deadly – they can easily bring companies to their knees.
SBV Services has been providing business owners with end-to-end cash solutions for more than two decades and it knows what the dangers are – and how to minimise the risks that go with handling cash.
“Criminals are working really hard to find more and more ingenious ways to rob hard-working, honest businesses but there are a number of small steps that businesses can take to protect their cash and valuables,” says Grant Dunnington, CEO of SBV Services.
Tips to reduce your business’s risk
According to Dunnington, basic cash-handling security measures should include these measures:
• Use licensed cash-collection security companies to move and bank large amounts of cash, as opposed to sending out vulnerable, untrained and ill-equipped employees to do what is a fundamentally dangerous job.
• Keep minimal cash on your premises. If you’ve been robbed once, don’t think that ‘lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice’ – after your first robbery you’re even more vulnerable than you were before.
• After hours, store valuable items that are normally on display in a safe or vault.
• Make sure that your insurance provider is up-to-date with your regular risk audits, upgrades or changes to your premises.
Tips for micro/small businesses
• Don’t let employees carrying cash wear uniforms or badges that can identify them with your business. If your staff have to move cash to the bank, keep educating them on the importance of being vigilant, even suspicious, at all times. Give them the resources that will save your cash – and even their lives – such as full tanks of petrol, cellphones and emergency numbers. Never let them take public transport or walk to the bank.
• Use secure containers that disguise what your people are carrying, as opposed to the obvious canvas money bags.
• Continually vary the routes and times used to move cash from the business to the bank.
SBV Services believes in helping people by helping them to manage their businesses better. Its next series of tips will be on how to protect lives during a robbery.
1 The Institute for Security Studies and SAPS.
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