23 Mar Violence, threats and abusive behaviour – no place in the retail industry!
There is no justification for antisocial behaviour in any environment, but retail employees – often in the firing line of potentially threatening situations – tend to cop it more than most.
However, there are systems that can help protect employees and keep them out of difficult and dangerous situations – often diverting them before they become a major issue.
Body-worn cameras are a sophisticated safeguard against physical and verbal abuse, allowing an employee to record activity from their direct point-of-view. Often, the very presence of a camera will deter antisocial or threatening behaviour, but if it escalates, the camera will alert security personnel who are able to send help, or sound the alarm. It also provides a clear and faithful record of the incident which can be used to provide evidence and protect an employee from wrongful litigation.
Duress buttons provide another key link between an employee at the front line and security personnel. A duress button can be worn on the person and discreetly pressed in threatening situations, instantly alerting management or security to the problem.
These also have trackers in them, which connect to a central security operations centre and can tell stakeholders exactly where the employee happens to be.
Network audio plays a key role in employee safety also, with advanced systems able to provide two-way communication between a particular point in the store or warehouse, and central operations. Advanced audio software can even detect the tone of voice picked up by a device, and sound an alert if it is angry or aggressive, directing authorities to that particular spot.
Audio can also be used to send a store-wide message, or focus on a specific area to deliver a more focused alert or warning.
All these systems work hand-in-hand with other security systems such as network video cameras, access control and alarms.
Integrated, they provide a powerful deterrent to violence and abusive behaviour in the retail environment.