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Mitigate Risk for a Successful Workplace Security Plan

Each year hundreds of thousands of organizations in the United States experience the negative effects of workplace crimes firsthand. These detrimental and costly experiences lead to considerable losses in productivity, assets, workplace/employee morale, and tragically, even life. They also usually require resorting to the hiring of security consulting firms or security companies. Crimes known to occur in work-type settings include: theft, vandalism, assault, kidnapping, arson, rape and murder, among many others. Mitigating your exposure and risk to these security threats begins with identifying vulnerabilities in your organization that would be conducive to these crimes. One of the first steps that are taken by security guard companies in this process involves conducting an effective security assessment, to expose on-site weaknesses that can create the kind of conditions necessary for the perpetration of these crimes.

Different types of organizations have different types of security needs. For instance, the usual security concerns of an industrial plant facility manager may be different from those of the owner of a car dealership. Where the car dealer may be mostly concerned with keeping his/her assets safe when the dealership is closed, the industrial plant facility manager may be focused on securing the on-site and logistical safety of all manufactured goods or substances, as well as keeping employees and local residents safe. In fact, while many organizations view security as a simple service involving the protection of people and assets, there are a myriad of security deployments that can be implemented to address a wide variety of security challenges. In consideration of these varying deployments, a security company has various factors to consider, including:

Crime Risk: Is there a high crime rate in the area?

Types of Assets: Are there on-site assets to be protected? If so, are they portable, or difficult to transport?

Traffic: Does the establishment receive pedestrian traffic?

Types of Substances: Are there on-site substances or raw goods/materials to be protected? If so, are they consumable or hazardous?

Time: Is the establishment open 24 hours a day, or only during business hours?

Accessibility: Is your establishment located above, or on, ground level?

Stress: Is the establishment a high-stress atmosphere?

All of these factors can have a significant effect on the type, and manner in which, a security application is deployed. In addition to the on-site scenarios indicated above, consideration must also be given to behavioral and motivating factors that can influence certain types of crimes, and identify specific types of offenders. For instance, depending on your type of organization, a theft may be more likely to be perpetrated by an employee than a complete stranger. Below is a general guideline for behavioral or motivating factors associated with the following crimes:

Theft: Dispassionate crime. Objective is personal gain.

Assault: Passionate crime. Objective may be revenge. Usually committed by employees or their spouses/ex-spouses, relatives, friends or associates.

Fraud/Product Tampering: Passionate crime. Objective may be revenge or personal gain. Can be committed by employees, customers or contractors.

Vandalism: Can be Passionate or Dispassionate crime. Objective may be revenge or boredom/recklessness. Usually committed by young adults/adolescents or disgruntled employees.

For each of these crimes, the deployment of visual deterrents, such as security guards and surveillance cameras, has a varying degree of effectiveness. For instance, a passionate offender, such as the ex-spouse of an employee whose mind is unequivocally set on an on-site assault, is less hindered by the presence of security cameras than the burglar, whose goal is to perpetrate a theft without getting caught. By understanding the security factors pertaining to your specific organization, as well as the types of risks your organization may face, you, or your security agency, can develop an efficient and effective security plan, which in the long run, can save you a considerable amount of time, money and resources.

Harold German is a renowned author and contributor, with appearances on CNN and in noted international publications, such as The Economist. Mr. German covers news regarding security guards, safety technologies and information about how to start a security company (www.arrowsecurity.net/franchise.net). He is a senior writer for Partner Service Sites.

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