There has been a spate of armed hold ups in recent weeks in which hotels in metropolitan and regional areas have been targeted.
These unfortunate incidents should serve as a reminder to all members to ensure they remain vigilant when it comes to hotel security. The AHA|SA has a Security Checklist which members can use to help identify any areas of the Hotel that may pose a security risk, not only to staff but also patrons. This Checklist is available in the members section of the website under – Other – Hotel Security. Members should also remind staff of security procedures along with the steps to follow in the event an armed hold up does take place.
Reduce the risk:
Report suspicious behaviour – Do staff record or report to SAPOL any suspicious customer behaviour? In many cases the venue held up had been scoped out in the days before the hold up, if suspicious behaviour is noted SAPOL should be contacted and any CCTV footage maintained.
Reduce the amount of money available / in the float – Do staff regularly clear large amounts of cash from the cashier area? Place back of house in a time delay safe.
Stop counting money / the float / cash draw in front of customers – Do not count large sums of money front of house / in front of customers. This should be done back of house / locked away in a time delay safe.
Change regular behaviour / patterns- Do staff count money at the same time every time? Do Security have breaks at the same time every shift? Does the venue close at the same time every shift?
Review CCTV systems – Are you satisfied with the quality of images? Can staff access the images and provide to Police with the footage immediately? Could Police identify an armed intruder using your imagery?
These points are a few to consider, the SAPOL Armed Robbery Kit have more, it can be downloaded from the SAPOL website (click here), or a full kit (including stickers) can be obtained by contacting your local police station. SAPOL can also assist members in conducting a security assessment of the Hotel, contact your local police station or Local Area Branch.
It is strongly recommended employees who are involved in an armed holdup be offered counselling both immediately after the event, and in the days and weeks after if required. Members may also wish to discuss the possibility of altering the work patterns of those involved (ie ensuring staff are not working alone, not working late at night etc), whether it be in the short term or in the longer term. Members should contact Owen Webb for the details of recommended counsellors.
Armed hold ups and any suspicious activity should be reported to SAPOL. Members should ensure they retain any CCTV footage of the event and or alleged offenders, as this may help SAPOL with their investigations.