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NI Business Warning

by msecadm4921

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is advising the business community to step up its security as we approach the festive period.

Christmas and New Year is the retail trade’s busiest time, and criminals will always try to take advantage of the high turnover of cash and valuables in outlets all over Northern Ireland.

Detective Inspector Davy Connery of the PSNI’s Crime Prevention Unit said now is a good time for the business community to ensure they have appropriate security measures in place.

"There are simple but very effective steps to take to ensure your business stays crime-free over the festive period.

“At this time of year you may take in more money than usual. Reduce the amount of cash you have in your tills regularly and make sure you transfer it to a safe – preferably in an occupied office.

"Have your money taken to a bank frequently by a recognised Cash In Transit (CIT) company. This ensures your money has the safest possible journey to your bank, reducing the risk of it being stolen.

"You should also consider a “drop” safe. This is where you can keep money that is due to be lodged at a bank until a CIT company comes to collect it. Its access can be limited to just two people, including the CIT company staff. Once the money has been dropped into the safe, only authorised individuals can get access to it. The safe should be located in a secure room.”

Detective Inspector Connery also highlighted the dangers of stolen or cloned credit cards, and thefts from cash machines.

“The methods that criminals use are becoming increasingly sophisticated and identity theft is an emerging crime in Northern Ireland.

“Business owners and their staff should be on the look out for fake or cloned cards which criminals are using more often. The details on these cards usually belong to a genuine member of the public whose identity, either their name or their bank number, has been stolen along with their bank card,“ he said.

“Some businesses, for example large petrol stations, have cash machines. These are another target for criminals, who have been attaching sophisticated devices that can capture a customer’s card details and pin number.

“Cameras can be installed to monitor ATMs for suspicious activity. Anyone who sees someone tampering with an ATM should not approach them but call police immediately.”

DI Connery advised the business community to ensure their staff do not become the target of so-called tiger kidnaps.

“A tiger kidnap is the holding of a hostage, or claim of having done so to force a person to steal cash or valuables from a business in the form of a ransom to get the hostage freed.

Businesses should ensure no one has access to enough cash to make them an attractive target to criminals, so all cash transfers of money should be done by Cash in Transit firms.

It is also worth thinking about the use of CCTV systems to monitor vulnerable areas and educating staff to notice and report anything unusual which may indicate a colleague is acting under duress.

“For the Police Service, preventing and tackling business crime are key issues in fulfilling the organisation’s goal to provide a personal, professional and protective service.”

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