The Durham Police Department offered the following crime prevention tips. In January 2008, the city saw a dramatic rise in robberies and murders, compared to January 2007.
Deterring Crimes at Businesses
- Install convex mirrors to enable employees to see people in areas that might be blocked.
- Post signs saying that employees do not have access to the safe.
- Post alarm company stickers on entry doors and windows.
- Know what is happening outside the store or place of business.
- Post NO LOITERING signs, NO TRESPASSING signs and NO PUBLIC PARKING signs.
- Greet all customers, and make eye contact as they enter the business. Ask if assistance is needed.
- Install a good alarm system.
- Keep your property in good condition to deter criminal activity
- Remove graffiti as soon as possible after it is found.
- Remove loose rocks and other objects that could be used to break in and vandalize your property.
- Leave a few interior lights on at night in the back of the store or office, because it can silhouette intruders.
- Replace burnt-out bulbs promptly
- Keep landscaping trimmed to preserve good visibility on the property and deny criminals possible hiding places.
What to Do If You Are Robbed
- Stay calm. Do exactly what the robber says. Keep your movements short and smooth.
- Do not resist. Cooperate for your own safety and the safety of others.
- Activate an alarm if it can be done safely without alerting the robber.
- Observe carefully the robber's face and clothing, and note any other distinguishing features.
- As safely as possible, observe the direction of escape, and record the license tag, make/model and color of any vehicle.
- Lock the door, and call 911 immediately after the robber leaves.
- Preserve the scene. Discontinue regular business until officers have searched the scene.
- Preserve evidence by staying away from the areas that the robber(s) may have touched, and cover any surfaces.
- Ask witnesses to remain. Get names and phone numbers if they are unable to remain.
- Don't discuss the robbery with others until all statements have been taken.
Helping to Catch Robbers and Recover Stolen Property
- Train your employees on what to do during a robbery.
- Place colored height marks at all exits to estimate suspect's height.
- Install video cameras to cover the front door, register, safe and other areas where there is no surveillance by employees. The equipment should be mounted where they cannot be covered or tampered with.
- Dummy cameras should not be used.
- Install panic alarm buttons at cashier register and other vulnerable positions.
- Engrave the company's name by developing a numeric system that can identify your business property or inventory.
- Place clear address numbers on front and back of business to avoid delays in police response.