Spring has sprung and with the last stretch to the December summer holidays, South Africans can’t wait for the last long-weekend as they celebrate Heritage Day on 24 September. Although the public holiday falls on a Sunday, Monday the 25th creates the three-day break coupled to the fact that it is also pay day weekend. What more do we want?
This is a joyous time in which we celebrate our diverse cultures and rich heritage. But it is equally our experience that weekends like these also herald an escalation of organised criminal activity.
Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect and expert in cash management and logistics says, “While consumers will certainly be out and about preparing for their respective festivities, we can expect criminals to also be going on a shopping spree – from one store to the next, to get their hands on large amounts of cash in their infamous way of violent, brazen armed attacks.”
Retail store managers should take extra caution and ensure a heightened safe and secure trading environment to deter criminals from attacking their business premises.
This long weekend is the next ideal for our organised crime syndicates. Beware, they will attack and they will do so with force and brutality, often with no consideration for life or limb.
Security professionals offer the following simple tips to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of cash crime this long weekend.
Cash on premises:
- Check that your cash vault has the ability to withstand the toughest of attacks – like keeping your cash secure even when criminals try to bomb your safe. The tougher the cash vault, the less likely the criminals will attack. They prefer soft targets that offer little or no resistance and from which they can escape as quickly as they can get their hands on the cash!
- Ensure that cash is deposited into your cash vault frequently throughout the trading day, keeping the cash flow at points-of-sale to a bare minimum.
- Automation simply removes the need for your staff to count and bank cash. No target, equals very little reason for an attack.
- Avoid making manual cash deposits at an ATM or bank branch.
Banking: (only if you really have to)
The reality is that many business owners still make use of manual banking and DIY cash counting methods. While trying to manage the risk associated with these practices is difficult and undesirable, security professionals offer some guidelines worth considering:
- Never announce to anyone when you will take cash to the bank for manual deposits.
- Avoid openly displaying the money you are depositing while standing at an ATM or in a bank queue.
- Don’t carrying money bags or briefcases when going to deposit cash at an ATM or at the bank.
- Change the days and times on which you deposit cash.
- Try to do electronic transfers instead of paying staff wages in cash.
- Avoid using the same ATM’s and bank branches, try to alternate them so your banking pattern is not easily recognisable.
- Refrain from driving to the bank in your company branded vehicle on a typical ‘pay day’.
- Consider closing shop for a few minutes before and during CIT collections.
- Alternatively, isolate and close down the cash office area during the collections and ensure that the room where the cash exchange or handover is being made has access restrictions.
- Assist the CIT collection team by being prepared. This keeps the collection service time window short, sharp and safe.
Pay extra attention:
- Be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles and people lurking in the area – especially a few days before the long-weekend.
- Urge staff to not disclose any information about the way the business is run and to report suspicious enquiries to the business owner immediately.
- Report anyone wanting to know about banking habits, CIT providers or CIT collection times.
Check & increase security:
- CCTV cameras are a must in a retail environment, but the quality of the system is of utmost importance. Regularly check on the quality of your CCTV footage and make sure that footage is backed up and records activity at entrances and where cash is kept.
- Ensure that your CCTV operating device is stored in a separate room to where your cash office is – this eliminates the ease of damaging the device during a burglary or robbery – removing all evidence for investigation.
- Test your alarm system regularly and ensure that your service is linked to a reputable and reliable armed response company. Motion detection in the ceiling should also be included.
- Business owners should consider a robust cash vault that can withstand the toughest of attacks as well as explosives, and which is an effective deterrent for criminals.
Statistics show that retailers have a 1 in 4 chance of falling victim to an armed robbery in South Africa. This is in itself an alarming figure, but so are the 54 armed robbery attacks that occur in our country each day.
Phillips believes that retailers are entitled to operate in a safe and efficient trading environment and encourages retail owners to adopt the world-class technology South Africa has to offer to mitigate and curb these brazen criminal activities.
ABOUT CASH CONNECT
Cash Connect Management Solutions offers an end-to-end cash management and payments solution that encompasses cash in transit logistics and cash processing. Established in 2006, Cash Connect’s specialist solutions for retailers remove risk and maximise cash flow through swift settlements.
Cash Connect is one of the largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts over R50 Billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across the country. It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as Spar Group, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK to name but a few.
The executive management team - led by joint CEOs Richard Phillips and Steven Heilbron - has an unrivalled pool of specialised cash logistics, security and banking experience. The board of directors is chaired by Ivan Epstein, former CEO of Softline and Sage International.
Cash Connect is a private company, with Old Mutual’s specialist fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, as its largest institutional shareholder.
Celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2017, Cash Connect believes that businesses deserve to trade in a safe environment, allowing retailers to do business efficiently and securely.
For the latest cash management news, connect with Cash Connect on Facebook