Protect your business against crime

Business security: protecting staff


As an employer you have a employers' health and safety responsibilities. Bringing in measures to improve staff safety and making employees and customers aware of their responsibilities can also improve the security of your business.

Improve staff security

Steps you can take might include:

  • checking visitor and delivery personnel identities
  • always checking the identity of people you deliver to
  • getting signatures for the receipt and issue of goods
  • CCTV system to cover entrances and exits

High security risk businesses

If your business handles a lot of cash or expensive goods, it makes sense to use a properly fitted protective screen to protect staff (eg at a cash register), closed-circuit television (CCTV), and secure storage such as a safe. See business security: cash.

If your business is at risk or is in a high-risk area, it might also be appropriate and cost-effective to employ security guards.

You could also join local community initiatives or Neighbourhood Watch initiatives. Contact the PSNI for details of initiatives in your area.

Customers and business security

All customers should be asked to remove motorcycle helmets and scarves that cover a face before they enter your business premises. A height mark at the door can be used by staff to accurately gauge the height of a criminal if a report of crime needs to be made to the police. If the height mark is highly visible this can also act as a deterrent for potential criminals that target your shop.

Employees who work alone

If you employ staff who work alone, you can help to reduce risks to them by using:

  • personal alarms
  • radio link scheme
  • controlled access or CCTV with audio
  • automatic warning devices
  • lone-worker monitoring devices
  • regular police or security checks

You could also ask staff to vary their routes and times for added security. Ensure lone workers' safety.

When a violent incident happens

Violent incidents can involve theft, angry customers, or customers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You can offer staff training in conflict management to deal with aggressive customers. Advise staff not to put themselves at risk, and to move away from aggressive customers but avoid becoming isolated.

When necessary they should dial 999 or get help quickly by using an alarm. They should try to write down information about what happened and secure CCTV footage and the scene until the police arrive.

All such incidents should be reported to the police. This can be done by dialling 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergency situations.

Victim support

If a member of staff is a victim of violence, they may need medical attention, which may be available in-house or may be required from the ambulance service. However, they will need your support. This might include:

  • a debriefing - talking about what happened
  • giving time off to recover
  • suggesting specialist counselling

Other staff who witnessed the incident may also be affected. They can get help and support from Victim Support NI.

Download violence at work guide (PDF, 105K).

Bomb threats and suspect packages

You should ensure staff know what to do in the unlikely event of a bomb threat or a suspect package is found on your business premises. Download the PSNI's business guidance on dealing with bomb threat telephone calls and suspect packages (PDF, 212K).

Tiger kidnap

Tiger kidnap involves the short-term hostage-taking of family members of an employee who has immediate access to cash or valuables. The captives are frequently held overnight and the aim of the criminals is to frighten their victims to such a degree that they will not contact the police, even when they have an opportunity to do so.

  • Crimestoppers
    0800 555 111
  • Victim Support NI
    028 9024 3133
  • PSNI non-emergency helpline