Retail workers are not immune to risk

From out-of-town retail parks and motorway services to local convenience shops and high-end department stores, Reliance Protect is the UK’s number one personal safety device protection system for retailers looking to safeguard their employees.

Retail workers are increasingly facing threat

Despite retailers experiencing a drastic reduction in footfall, recent years have witnessed a serious increase in assaults on UK retail staff. The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) 2019 Retail Crime Survey revealed that in the course of the previous year 115 retail employees were attacked at work every day, with 32 incidents per 1,000 workers.

Robberies, violence and assaults on UK retail sector staff are unfortunately continuing to escalate, The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) revealed that the total cost of crime and crime prevention for retailers was £1.9 billion last year, up 12% from the previous year (£1.7bn). This was made up of £900 million direct cost from retail crime, and £1 billion spent in efforts to prevent crime.

Implementing technology for employee protection

Those working in the retail sector perform a variety of roles and as well as those on the shop floor there are other staff to consider including warehouse personnel, logistical personnel, customer visiting staff and, in larger organisations, engineering and maintenance teams – all of whom potentially need personal safety devices and solutions whilst going about their activities. In some situations, these individuals are classed as lone workers and should be provided with the requisite technology to stay safe.

Every retail environment is unique and different roles come with different risks. This adds to the importance of carrying out a full and detailed risk assessment, which can identify the best type of personal safety device(s) to deploy. This technology has developed significantly over the last decade, so it is important to work with a technology provider that is able to integrate its personal safety equipment into a broader security infrastructure.

URNs and the need to eliminate false alarms

The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) Police Requirements & Response to Security Systems policy sets conditions on the use of an allocated unique reference number (URN) when requesting attendance at an incident.

False alarms generated from traditional site-based security systems can often result in the police response being removed from those sites. The time and effort required to gain reinstatement takes up resources and can leave sites exposed for significant periods of time.

Reliance Protect have all the relevant ARC and personal safety accreditations required to be able to escalate to police services via a lone worker URN. Our skilled and experienced ARC alarm handling operators filter out false alerts, so they are not escalated to the Police, thereby maintaining that Level 1 Police response across retail sites.

How can Reliance Protect safeguard retail staff?

Reliance Protect offer a wide range of personal safety devices that act as a means to summon aid in the event of emergency, to collect important information that can be used as evidence, and confirm the safety of an individual by allowing them to check in or out. Reliance Protect’s latest body-worn video solutions enhance incident deterrence, accelerate incident response decision making and provide powerful evidence capture. These visual lone worker devices provide an audio link with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) often along with GPS tracking; with body-worn video devices, the ARC can also receive a live video stream.

Reliance Protect devotes considerable resources to assessing and understanding lone worker safety technologies and the benefits they can offer a wide variety of organisations.