Unfortunately, being in the bar business puts you at a greater risk of robbery than virtually any other profession and that means that you need to be prepared and ready (if that’s ever possible) should the unthinkable occur. Your first priority will obviously be to protect yourself and your staff and there a number of steps you can take to make sure that no one is harmed and the chances of the perpetrator being caught increase.
Here are the top ten things to do in the event of a robbery:
1. Try to Remain Calm – This could be the hardest thing to do, but bear in mind that the robber themselves will be equally nervous and jumpy, you want to avoid any sudden movements or gestures, especially if they are armed.
2. Follow Their Instructions – Do not try to resist what is being asked of you. The goal is to let the robber get away with what ever cash or stock they need without harming anyone, so follow their instructions. This is not the time to be heroic.
3. Be Cautious Activating the Alarm – if your bar is fitted with an alarm or panic button, only activate it if you can do so secretly. If you are doubtful that this can be done safely, don’t do it.
4. Communicate Your Movements – If you do have to make any movements or gestures during the robbery, tell the robber of your intentions. Don’t give them any reason to think you might be resisting or retaliating.
5. Observe Carefully – If you can, get a look at the robber’s face, make a mental note of their clothing, scars, tattoos, or anything else that might stand out and be of use to the police later on. Maybe you get a chance to see their vehicle. If so, write every detail down as soon as it is safe to do so.
6. Give Them Time To Leave – Give the robber time to leave before taking the next steps to alert the owner/police of the robbery.
7. Lock The Door and See All Staff Are Safe – Once you have done this, call 999 and give them all available information including the direction you believe the robbers went in. Alert the owner of the robbery.
8. Preserve the Crime Scene – Your bar is now part of a crime scene and nothing should be touched until the police have said it is okay to continue on with the day’s business. Vital clues may have been left behind and you don’t want to destroy these in your efforts to get back to normal.
9. Ask Witnesses To Remain – If the robbery occurred during business hours, there may be customers on the scene whose first instinct afterwards will be to get as far away as possible! It is important to keep all witnesses on the scene until the police have taken their statements and don’t discuss the robbery with anyone until these statements have been taken.
10. Close the Business – Close the business immediately afterwards until the police say it is okay to reopen. This is important so that the crime isn’t contaminated by additional people plus you and your staff are going to need a breather after all that stress.
Review the above points carefully and I recommend you print them out and run over them with your staff today.