With new reports of mall hold-ups happening all over the country, there is no doubt that security officer training is something that retail industries cannot afford to ignore any longer. While many stores assume that shopping centres can handle every aspect of security, this approach can no longer be considered sufficient to keep your employees and customers safe.
In South Africa, much like many other parts of the world, organised retail crime has a major effect not only on those within the retail industry, but also on the broader economy. Shop lifting, internal theft from employees and more serious crimes such as break-ins and mall robberies can occur at any given time. Luxury shops such as jewellers are often targeted due to their high-end merchandise and turnover, but smaller shops are not immune from potential threats either.
One of the most effective ways to combat retail crime is through security guard training. How exactly does training help to prevent these crimes though, and how can you be sure that your store is a safe place for customers to shop?
How Security Officer Training Keeps Stores, Malls and Customers Safer
Some of the ways that security training helps to make stores, malls and other retail centres more secure include the following:
- Interior and exterior patrols are performed more thoroughly and effectively
Visible policing through patrols are still an excellent preventative measure. The presence of roving security patrols, both inside the store and outside stores and centres, instantly sends out the message to would-be criminals that the premises are not an easy mark. Well-trained guards who understand patrolling procedures, are able to greet and interact with customers and are vigilant to their surroundings at all times are a far greater asset than untrained guards who fall asleep at their posts, or worse still, fail to deter potential criminals from making a move.
- Internal theft and employee awareness is taken seriously
Trained guards can also help to prevent internal theft. Hiring additional, well-trained guards to oversee stock take, hiring experienced guards to perform random inspections or to simply act as a visible presence within the store goes a long way in putting a stop to internal theft. Employee awareness meanwhile is often important too, ensuring that employees are educated about the need for additional security.
- Fire safety and emergency planning is incorporated into security services
Many security services companies include fire safety and emergency training into their training courses. This means that you will have the additional value of guards who are trained to handle non-crime related emergencies or situations. Fires, construction projects, special events, customer injuries or other unforeseen problems will be dealt with by guards who are trained to know how to respond quickly and correctly.
- Surveillance technologies and procedures are handled more efficiently
Almost all shops and malls make use of Closed Circuit Television systems (CCTV cameras). But how many guards are trained how to use these systems properly? There is little use in having CCTV cameras if your security team cannot use or understand the system. Well-trained officers who are up to date with commonly used security systems will be far more equipped to help you protect your store remotely.
- Better firearms training and capability is provided
Last but certainly not least, the importance of firearms training for security guards cannot be over-stated. Guards that are only able to use pepper spray and low-impact weapons such as batons will be of little use in the event of a shop being taken by force by armed gunmen. Guards that are fully trained and experienced in the use of firearms will not only be faster to react, they will also be aware of how to handle any high-risk situation – whether that is a shooter, hostage, bomb, abduction or customer attack.
No shop owner wants to think about what happens when their shop is under attack. Even low-level shoplifting can be devastating – armed robberies and major situations meanwhile can be a matter of grave consequence if adequate measures are not in place. It is for this reason that security officer training should be considered – if not for the safety of your staff, than for the safety of your valued customers.