Dave Whittle, CEO at Positive Response, discusses the need for a holistic staff safety solution in his latest blog for Infologue.com. Dave writes: “According to the ACS Crime Report 2016 the most popular features used in-store to prevent crime are CCTV, staff training and external security. Each of these methods bring different advantages to the table, but individually they fail to properly protect and support a business and its staff. Only through a holistic solution that combines these into a seamless system can the best results be achieved.
“CCTV is commonplace in customer facing businesses, such as the retail sector. It often acts as a deterrent and can allow perpetrators to be identified. However, during a negative and potentially harmful situation, CCTV isn’t able to provide support to staff and doesn’t actually handle the situation in real time.
“Similar to CCTV, external security such as locks and shutters provide no comfort or reassurance to the staff that face anti-social behaviour and other negative situations during working hours; despite being integral to any security solution as a means of protecting from break-ins and robbery.
“Staff training, however, equips employees with the knowledge of how to deal with anti-social activity, enabling them to deal with the situation as and when it occurs. Although this can empower employees, a negative or violent situation may be a source of stress for staff, can hinder their wellbeing and potentially place them in dangerous situations.
“Evaluating the individual roles of any security measure, whether it be technological or human, in crime prevention shows advantages and disadvantages. However, a holistic approach, which incorporates both technology and people, can create a security solution with all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks. One example of this is StaffSafe®, which provides staff with a concealed or wireless button that they can press when feeling threatened. This triggers an alarm on the premises and signals to the response team that support is needed. The staff at the response centre can intervene using CCTV and loudspeakers that usually located in the ceiling, contact the emergency services if necessary, and offer reassurance to staff via two way communications.
“In this model technology provides a way to quickly access help when it is required, which reduces stress for staff by reassuring them that there is a system in place to support them. Similarly, the technology allows a quick and discreet way to gain assistance without drawing any negative attention to the staff.
“Crucially, the technology also provides the means for support from other people. StaffSafe’s® two-way communication system allows a highly trained response service team to step in and diffuse the situation, without risk of physical assault. This is particularly useful for lone workers, who would usually have to face these situations alone. Additionally, the response team can assess the situation and make a judgment as to whether the emergency services need to be contacted.
“Consequently, a holistic security solution harnesses the advantages of both technology and people, while neutralising the weaknesses of using a single security solution.
“Additionally, this can reduce staff turnover and increase productivity by creating a positive working environment and, as a result, reduce recruitment costs”.