Small Business
July 21, 2023
Crime Prevention
10 simple low-cost ways to make your store safer

10 simple low-cost ways to make your store safer

If you run a shop and money’s tight, there are some simple, inexpensive ways to reduce the odds thieves will target it. Keep your store light, bright and tidy, use secure ways of paying and be sure to lock up properly.

Running a business, especially in retail, is rewarding, but let's face it, it also comes with its set of challenges. One of those challenges is crime. So, let's discuss some straightforward ways to keep your store safe and sound and protect it from crime.

1. Light it up!

Ever walked into a dark room and felt uneasy? Same goes for your store. A well-lit shop isn't just welcoming; it's also a deterrent for would-be thieves. Brighten up both the inside and outside of your store. Remember, if they can't hide in the shadows, they're less likely to try anything.

2. Say hello to cameras

Consider installing security cameras. Now, we're not saying you need a Hollywood-style security room. Even a couple of cameras can make a big difference. Put up a sign letting folks know they're being recorded. Most times, just knowing they're on camera keeps the mischief-makers away.

3. Know your neighbours

You know the cafe next door? And the bookstore across the street? They're not just fellow businesses; they're your allies. Look out for one another. If you see something suspicious, give them a heads up, and they'll likely do the same for you.

4. Train your team

Your team is your first line of defence. Have a chat with them about the importance of security. Teach them to greet every customer – a simple "hello" can often deter someone with ill intentions. Also, show them how to spot and report suspicious behaviour.

5. Keep cash to a minimum

Avoid keeping a lot of cash in the till. Regularly drop cash into a safe or take it to the bank. And here's a simple trick: put up a sign saying, "Limited cash no hand." It's a gentle nudge to potential thieves that they won't get much even if they try.

6. Tidy up

A cluttered store can be a thief's playground. Keep aisles clear, ensure the stock is neatly displayed, and maintain visibility throughout the store. A clean and organised store is not just appealing to customers; it also gives fewer hiding spots for stolen goods.

7. Use secure payment methods

In today's digital age, many thieves are looking for more than just cash. Protect your customers' card details. Use trusted and secure payment systems, and regularly update your point-of-sale systems.

8. Check, double-check, and triple-check

At the end of the day, make it a habit to check all entry and exit points. Ensure windows are locked, back doors are secured, and alarms are set. It's a simple routine that can save you a lot of trouble.

9. Be a part of the community

Join or start a local business group. These groups can be excellent for sharing tips, keeping each other updated on local issues, and even organising security patrols or initiatives. There's strength in numbers.

10. Trust your gut

Always trust your instincts. If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.