How can you limit the risks your business faces? Read on as we take a look at the types of crimes you need to watch out for, and practical solutions you can implement today to help protect your business and your staff.

The Types of Crimes Impacting Businesses

There are various kinds of potential crime that businesses could be suffering from, including business premises crime, cyber crime, cash theft and malpractice. As just one example, according to South Africa’s crime statistics for October to December 2021 compared to the same period in the previous year, it was reported that commercial crime increased by 15.1%, while robbery at non-residential premises was up by 1.7%. Though crime stats in South Africa are unnerving, they are certainly not exclusive to the southern parts of Africa.
The UK’s 2021 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS) reported that an estimated 38% of business premises in the wholesale and retail sector in England and Wales had been a victim of crime between April 2020 and March 2021.

The survey report states: “Theft by a customer was the most prevalent type of theft and also the most frequently experienced type of crime, with 11% of business premises experiencing this crime type more than once a day.”

What are the main types of retail crime?

Whether it’s a customer spraining an ankle from slipping on a wet floor, or cyber swindlers launching phishing attacks that target your staff, retail risks can have a significant impact on your business.
Fortunately, with a smart retail risk management strategy in place, you can prevent many threats before they happen. Business owners should keep a close eye on the top retail crimes detailed below:
  • Shoplifting is a common crime committed against retail business.
  • Money fraud is when criminals use an illegal method to pay for goods. This may include counterfeit cash, stolen credit cards or fraudulent cheques.
  • Employee theft is when staff steal or commit fraud. A thorough understanding of vulnerabilities, paired with the ability to spot red flags, can help businesses mitigate the risk of embezzlement and other white-collar crimes. Read our guide on how to prevent employee theft and fraud for more insights.
  • Checkout fraud includes a number of tactics where criminals avoid paying in full for goods when paying at the tills. Examples include swapping barcodes or price stickers for a less expensive item or deliberately failing to swipe a product at a self-checkout.
  • Refund fraud is another crime that can happen at the till. It can take the form of an offender attempting to return a stolen item in exchange for money or credit, or falsifying receipts.
  • Burglary can be committed against retail stores, usually when the shop is closed. These “smash and grab” crimes involve forcing entry and stealing merchandise.
  • Abuse can be aggressive or violent behaviour of customers towards shop workers.
  • Vandalism is also a risk for retail businesses. It could include graffiti, smashed windows or damaged signs.
  • Online scams are a risk for retailers, particularly those who sell online or hold customer data digitally. They could become a victim of online fraud or cyber security breaches. For more tips on how to protect your business from cyber criminals, read our article on how cyber crime affects your retail business.
take steps to protect your business from crime


Practical Preventative Measures to Help Protect Your Business Against Crime

As Benjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
At Deposita, we are deeply aware of the dramatic increase in violent crime within the retail environment. While we understand that socio-economic challenges often bring about crimes in the retail space, we have to continue making every effort to prevent (and address) violent transgressions wherever possible.
Here are a few of our recommended guidelines to help protect your business:

Carry out a risk assessment

Start with identifying where you are most vulnerable. Perhaps you are already aware of where your business has been the victim of crime, but that might not tell the whole story. Carry out a thorough business risk assessment to determine the areas most at risk.

Secure your premises

Business owners need to ensure that physical guarding arrangements are implemented and that communication and response times from armed response are frequently tested. It’s important to know that timely action is to your benefit – an alarm report will be required in the event of a claim. Should it surface that the site alarm was not armed (activated) at the time of the incident, it could result in the rejection of the claim under your policy.

Suggested measures include:
  • Testing alarms
  • Checking response mechanisms
  • Implementing Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV)
  • Verifying guarding arrangements
  • Improved lighting of the premises after dark
  • Burglar gates and bars
  • Panic buttons for staff during work hours
  • Access control (magnetic locks and “buzzer” entrance)
  • Regular roof and ceiling inspections – beams and cameras inside the roof are highly effective

Install an end-to-end cash management solution

Cash is still a vital part of conducting business today. This means security is a real concern when managing cash within your organisation. Where cash is kept on site, implement a cash management system. With less handling, temptation, error and waste, you can be more efficient, more profitable, save more and trust more.
External threats also exist. Make sure necessary security training is available and that everyone knows what to do in the event of a serious threat. In any event, it is always better to surrender goods or cash than get hurt trying to defend it. Also train your staff to recognise suspicious behaviour. Staff should also know how to report crime to you.

For more ways to protect your business from the dangers of cash, read our blog on why your business needs a smart safe.

Secure your equipment

Carry out regular property and equipment audits and allocate responsibility for particular items to individual employees. Protect computers and valuable devices, and record details of serial numbers. Consider securing expensive equipment to floors or walls.

Protect your stock

Being organised will help you identify any discrepancies in your stock count early on. Keep on top of paperwork and question excessive amounts of voids, credits or damage claims. Make time to carry out regular stock takes.

Stop information theft

To protect sensitive information, including clients’ financial records and employee details, use access controls on computers to restrict entry. Review who has access privileges and change passwords regularly. Ensure that you protect your IT systems adequately by installing firewalls and anti-virus software.

Undertake regular checks on security measures

Crime changes because criminals know they need to find different or more sophisticated methods if they are to stay in business. Make sure that your security measures remain up to the challenge. Do this at least once a year and always remain open to suggestions about ways to better protect your business – especially when searching for the best way to mitigate the risk of managing varying amounts of cash.

Learn how to make cash handling and depositing safer

Keeping large volumes of cash on your business premises is dangerous. But so is transporting cash to the bank. Within your business, the easiest way to eliminate human error, negligence and the temptation for skimming at the point of sale are cash recyclers, such as Deposita’s Exchangor Teller.
When it comes to depositing money, keeping good records of your cash management processes could be lifesaver when things don’t add up. With cash receipts and supporting documentation for each till count and deposit, you can trace errors or malfeasance. When compiling your deposit log, particulars should contain the time and date when the deposit was created, along with the value of the deposit, any discrepancies, and the name of the person who signed off on the deposit.
In addition, your log should include the serial number on the deposit bag, the date and time when the deposit was handed to the cash-in-transit officer or bank as well as who signed off on the delivery or collection. That means getting a signature from the person taking the cash deposit to the bank or handing it to the armoured car carrier.

For more tips, read our blog on how to make managing and depositing money safer.



What Is a Cash Deposit Machine?

Cash deposit machines, or smart safes, are devices that accept, verify, record and secure cash. They do this automatically and can be used as a fully integrated solution within your business. They provide real-time visibility and transaction trails to audit each transaction. You can even determine which operator accessed the device at any given time.
In addition, besides reducing cash handling issues, they also improve back-office capabilities, assisting with cash protection, bank note validations, cash retrieval, and settlements.

For more on how you can protect your business with cash management solutions, read our blog about the benefits of a smart safe.

Deposita Can Help Protect Your Business: Book a Free Consultation

For over a decade, Deposita has perfected the art of cash management using world-class innovation, product development, manufacturing and implementation of technology to collect, handle, process, safeguard and dispense cash.
We provide tailored end-to-end cash, self-service, and payment management solutions for our customers in retail, wholesale and banking sectors through in-depth consultations. We ensure every security need is met and exceeded every step of the way.

If you would like to learn more about how Deposita can help protect your business against crime, please reach out for a free consultation.


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