A Layered Approach to Crime Prevention
“Ogres are like onions….. Onions have layers”
Shrek the Ogre, from the movie Shrek
Almost everyone has had the timeless experience of sitting in a darkened theatre watching a movie that is intended for children and surprisingly laughing as much, if not more, than the kids we’re supposed to be entertaining. Children’s movies are delightful, yet there’s always a Bad Guy; A Dark force; someone waiting in the wings to mess with the innocence of the beloved Main Character and possibly expose our children to countless sleepless nights.
We know it’s only a matter of time before the Bad Guy shows up, yet we search for the movie time that fits with our schedule, load everyone into the car, pay exorbitant prices for our tickets and munchies and head to the movies all the same. Popcorn in hand and kids in tow, we settle in and know that once all is said and done, after the laughter, the touching moments, the Bad Guy threatening to ruin everything- all will be right with the world. The consistent happy ending that only happens in fairy tales.
The truth is: happy endings can happen more often in the business of loss prevention with a similar amount of effort it takes to attend a movie. Happy endings can be a part of your company’s reality by taking a layered approach to crime prevention. I like to call it: The Shrek Effect.
Yes. Onions are stinky (like Ogres), yetthe addition of their smelly layers, whether chopped, sliced or julienned, to most recipes will enhance the flavor far beyond a simple dash of salt. Indeed, the layered approach to loss prevention takes more time and resources, but the end product is that you have multiple layers of protection against the Bad Guy as well as more identifiable markers available to recover your equipment if it is stolen or lost. These layers could deter a would-be thief from following through on taking your asset and will certainly help in the process of recognizing your gear if it leaves your possession unlawfully.
Keep the Bad Guy in check and strengthen your inventory control with some basic ideas to protect your equipment that even an Ogre would appreciate.
Your layers start by making sure you have a set inventory system that is quick, detailed, uniform and enforced.
- Mark your merchandise in a uniform manner- same marking and in the same or similar locations on all equipment
- Company logo
- Inventory number
- Owner Applied Number (OAN)*
- Special paint or markings specific to your company
- (CPP of SoCal 24/7 hotline stickers are a great addition, too!)
- Enter all numbers, markings and the serial numbers on your inventory list and be sure to get the number directly from the equipment – not from another form or invoice.
- Photograph your equipment / merchandise showing the location of special markings
Now that your inventory layer is good to go, it’s time to think about your yard security layer.
- Control the number of keys to the yard and who has them –possibly even establish a key sign- out system
- Install plenty of lighting
- Consider installing security cameras at key locations throughout your yard
- Post No Trespassing signs around the perimeter of your yard –(consider joining CPP and posting the 24/7 reward hotline number)
- Depending on the nature of your yard or jobsite, consider reaching out to residents and encouraging their involvement in reporting suspicious activity; keeping your job and their neighborhood crime free
- Always perform an exit interview when an employee is laid off or fired
- Take extra measures to ensure your yard is properly secured on long or holiday weekends
- Know who to call if a theft does occur
- Proper Law Enforcement officials
- Company representative
- Insurance company
- Crime Prevention partners – like CPP of SoCal
We know the Bad Guy is waiting for us to let our guard down and run off with our equipment, so why not take the time to do what we can to prevent the inevitable; to safeguard your assets with layers of protection and make sure your Happy Ending is a reality and not just a thing of fairy tales.