Every day businesses lose money due to crime, whether it be strangers or employees.
The Business Watch is designed to help you with information and resources to deter crime
and help the Gananoque Police Service better serve the business community.
Is your business registered with the Gananoque Police in case an emergency arises either
during or after business hours?
Please take a few minutes to fill out the BUSINESS EMERGENCY CONTACT FORM. After
you fill out the details, you can either email (save the form and attach to email), fax, mail or
drop off the form at the police station and say hello.
We have also created a Suspect Description Sheet and a Suspect Vehicle / Weapon
Description Sheet to help you help us catch criminals. To download the description
sheets, simply click of the form and it will open in PDF and you can print it out.
Here's a little hint; the forms are set up so you can print on both sides. Simply print the
first form and then set-it in your printer and print on the reverse side. We wanted to save
you some money as well.
We decided to make the sheets available on-line to keep costs down, but if you require
copies, please drop by the police station.
You can also use the description sheets in the event you have a suspicious person(s) or
vehicle(s) hanging around your business.
WHAT TO DO DURING A ROBBERY
Try to stay calm. Don't make any sudden movements to upset the robber.
Do exactly as you are told. DO NOT RESIST!
Activate your alarm ONLY if you can do so secretly.
Tell the robber about anything that might surprise him, such as someone who is expected to arrive soon.
If you have to move or reach, tell the robber what you are going to do and why.
Try to get a good look at the robber so you can describe him later.
Don't be a hero. It's better to lose your money than your life.
Give the robber time to leave.
Note his direction of travel when he leaves.
Try to get a description of his vehicle ONLY if you can do so without exposing yourself to harm.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A ROBBERY
Call the police immediately, even if you have already activated the alarm.
Close the store and lock the door(s) if you have a key.
Do not discuss the details of the robbery with witnesses or fellow employees.
Ask any witnesses to stay until police arrive. If they can't, get their names, phone numbers and addresses.
Do not touch anything that the robber may have touched. Block off areas where the robber was, if necessary.
Try to recall as much as you can about the robber's appearance, speech and mannerisms. Make notes.
Step outside the store when the police arrive so that they'll know the robber is gone and you are safe.
Let the police answer inquiries from the news media.
Do not discuss the amount of money taken with anyone other than police.
BEING PRO-ACTIVE - THE COMMUNITY POLICING APPROACH
Keep your front doors and windows clear of signs and posters to allow good, two way visibility. Employees can see
suspicious persons outside. Passers-by and police can see inside.
Keep the outside of your business well lit at night.
Make sure your cash register area is clearly visible to outside observers.
Practice good cash control. Keep a minimum amount in your cash drawer and make regular drops into a safe.
Advertise outside that you keep a minimal amount of cash in the register and that you will not accept large bills.
Don't keep large bills under the cash drawer. If you don't have a safe, find a less obvious place to hide your extra cash
until you go to the bank.
Use a safe that the clerk cannot open alone or that requires two keys. Post that fact conspicuously, including on the safe
Use video camera surveillance and make it well known.
Always have at least two clerks working at night.
Vary your banking routine. Carry cash in a variety of ways - a lunch sack, attaché case, flight bag, pocket, etc. Money
bags are pretty obvious.
Vary the times and routes that you use to go to the bank.
Make deposits as often as possible, never less than once a day.
Be alert for "customers" who seem to be loitering or glancing around the store while appearing to shop or browse through
Watch for suspicious persons outside the business - especially in parked cars and around telephone booths.
If you see someone who is acting suspicious inside or outside, call the police to have them checked out.
Two persons should be on hand at opening and closing times.
At opening time, one person should enter the store and check to see if it has been disturbed.
Before closing, one person should check the office, back rooms and rest rooms to make sure no one is hiding inside.
Keep side and back doors locked. Have employees use the main entrance, if possible.
Place markers at the main entrance that employees can use to help gauge the height of a robber as he leaves.
PRO-ACTIVE TIPS TO PREVENTING EMPLOYEE THEFT
The first step to preventing employee theft is to screen job applicants thoroughly before hiring them in the first place.
Background checks should be performed and should include a check on criminal history, driver license violations, as well
as verification of education, past employment (including reasons for leaving), and references.
Consider running a credit check on prospective employees, as people with financial difficulties are more prone to fraud. In
order to do this, you are legally required to notify the job applicant in writing that a credit report may be requested. You
also need to receive the applicant's written consent.
Studies show that the more employees believe they will be caught, the less likely they are to steal.
Be clear with employees that your company has zero tolerance for employee theft of any sort.
Write and distribute a company policy that outlines exactly what constitutes stealing. Contact your local police department
if you do discover an incident of employee theft so you send a message to your employees that stealing will not be
Business owners and senior management must themselves be role models of honesty and integrity, or they may risk
setting up a work environment that justifies illegal and criminal activity.
Avoid at all costs allowing the finances of a business to be handled and controlled by a single individual. Separation of
duties is critical, and no employee should be responsible for both recording and processing a transaction; i.e., Don't allow
the same person who sends out bills to collect the mail and prepare bank deposits.
Run irregularly scheduled surprise audits or have a third party audit your books once a year. Also insist that your
bookkeeper or any employee who has access to monies take a yearly vacation so you can examine their records.
Make sure all cheques, purchase orders, and invoices are numbered consecutively, and regularly check for missing
Use a "for deposit only" stamp on all incoming cheques to prevent an employee from cashing them.
Personally look into customer complaints that they have not received credit for payments.
Most incidents of employee theft are revealed by coworkers, but many still are hesitant to report these incidents to their
employers. Set up a system whereby employees may report employee theft anonymously.
Unopened bank statements and canceled cheques should be received by the business owner or outside accountant each
month and they should carefully examine for any red-flag items such as missing cheque numbers. They should also look
at the cheques that have been issued to see if the payees are legitimate, and make sure that the signatures are not
Require all cheques above a nominal amount to have two signatures. Never sign a blank cheque. Sign every payroll
Get an insurance policy that covers outside crime, employee theft and computer fraud. It will be there as a safety net in
case your fraud prevention tactics don't work.
Small business owners should take the time to review accounts payable by checking cash disbursements and payments.
A very common scheme to look out for is billing-scheme fraud where an employee sets up fictitious "phantom" vendors.
Be alert to disgruntled or stressed employees, or those who have indicated that they are having financial difficulties. Also
look for any unexplained significant rises in an employee's living standards.
A positive work environment has been shown to deter employee fraud and theft. Open lines of communication, positive
employee recognition, and fair employment practices will assist in the reduction of occupational fraud.
Business Watch is a cooperative crime prevention program for local businesses and
police. The primary goal of Business Watch is to reduce crime that affects Gananoque
Business Watch builds relationships with the police service and among the business
community. Like Neighborhood Watch, these relationships:
Lead to a cooperative effort to prevent crime.
Provide timely security information to the police (and other businesses).
Catch criminals in the act.
Support the safety and security of Gananoque businesses.
In addition, you can help educate patrol officers on the specific issues and concerns of
your business, so we're better able to work proactively and keep watch over problem
areas. We will also provide EMAIL ALERTS to warn you of issues that affect your business.
|Reasons to Join Business Watch
Get to know your business neighbors.
Gain useful information about crime and prevention.
Benefit from police and town resources you may not know about.
Optimize your communications with the police service.