How To Behave In The Event Of A Robbery

The first step to dealing with any emergency at your business is remaining calm and knowing what steps to take to minimise your own risk and the risk of others. In the event of a robbery, knowing how to behave can be the difference between escalating a situation and ensuring the event passes without injury or harm.

Though you may never be completely prepared to handle the unexpected, it is important to have a list of guidelines to work from. From staying calm to being aware of your body language, remembering a few simple pointers can help you feel confident in navigating a difficult situation such as a robbery.

Compliance and Passivity

Above all else, the golden rule in the event of a robbery at your supermarket is to always comply with the offender’s demands. Though you may feel motivated to protect your assets, the safety of yourself and others should remain your number one priority in all emergencies. Acting as a hero increases the risk of the event and should never be your first instinct.

Material items and money stolen can be replaced, so complete compliance is in the best interest of all involved. The way that you choose to act during a robbery can serve as a model for others around you who may look to employees or store managers as a guide for their behaviour during the event.

Body Language

Much of human communication comes across nonverbally, and these nonverbal cues are important to relay to an offender that you intend to comply with their demands throughout the robbery. Body posture, gestures, facial expression, and eye movement are all silent ways you imply your intent during a robbery.

Body language during a robbery should always convey a “no-threat” impression. Keep your head and eyes lowered, and do not stare directly at the offender. Keep your hands visible at all times. This will increase your chances of being perceived as non-threatening to the offender and reduces the risk of reactionary behaviour.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication in the event of a robbery should be a reflection of your nonverbal cues, also signalling compliance. You should make a point to carefully follow the offender’s instructions and demands as closely as possible. In the event you are unable to comply with a demand, be sure to explain factually why you are unable to proceed with their demands.

It is important not to make sudden movements and to preface actions with an explanation or warning. If you cannot understand an offender’s demands, do not guess what they are asking you to do. Seek clarification and continue to comply as fully as possible.

Calm, Communicative, and Compliant

There is no doubt that a robbery is a highly stressful and unanticipated event. However, refraining from the urge to panic will help you to think clearly and deescalate the situation, ensuring the safety of yourself and those around you. Panicking may lead to behaviours that could agitate the offender, increasing the risk and danger of the situation.

Clear communication with the offender will help them understand that you are not a threat. Key behaviours or communications include detailing your actions before acting, refraining from sudden movements, keeping hands visible, explaining compliance limitations, or asking the offender to repeat instructions if you cannot understand them.

Though it is difficult to feel fully prepared for an emergency at your business, understanding key actions and behaviours to exhibit in the event of a robbery is critical to lowering risk and increasing safety.

For more information on how to best during a robbery at your supermarket, contact us about staff training.

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