Tips: Take Crime Prevention To Work
When you go to work,
don’t leave your crime
prevention sense at home.
Almost any crime that can
happen at home or in your
neighborhood can happen in
the workplace. But common-
sense prevention skills can
help make life “at work” safer
Help Prevent Office Theft And Other Crimes
Keep your purse, wallet, keys, or other
valuable items with you at all times or
locked in a drawer or closet.
Check the identity of any strangers who
are in your office -- ask whom they are
visiting and if you can help them find
that person. If this makes you
uncomfortable, inform security or
management about your suspicions.
Always let someone know where you’ll
be -- whether it’s coming in late, working
late, going to the photocopier or
mailroom, going out to lunch or a
If you bring personal items to work,
such as a coffee pot, a radio, or a
calculator, mark them with your name or
initials and identification number.
Report any broken or flickering lights,
dimly lit corridors, doors that don’t lock
properly, or broken windows. Don’t wait
for someone else to do it.
Be discreet. Don’t advertise your social
life or vacation plans and those of your
co-workers to people visiting or calling
your place of work.
Take A Look At Common Trouble Spots
Reception area -- Is the receptionist
equipped with a panic button for
emergencies, a camera with a monitor
at another employee’s desk, and a lock
on the front door that can be controlled?
Stairwells and out-of-the-way corridors
-- Don’t use the stairs alone. Talk to the
building manager about improving
poorly lighted corridors and stairways.
Elevators -- Don’t get into elevators with
people who look out of place or behave
in a strange or threatening manner. If
you find yourself in an elevator with
someone who makes you nervous, get
off as soon as possible.
Restrooms -- Attackers can hide in stalls
and corners. Make sure restrooms are
locked and only employees have keys.
Be extra cautious when using restrooms
that are isolated or poorly lighted.
After hours -- Don’t work late alone.
Create a buddy system for walking to
parking lots or public transportation or
ask security to escort you.
Parking lots or garages -- Choose a
well-lighted, well-guarded parking
garage. Always lock your car and roll
the windows up all the way. If you
notice any strangers hanging around
the parking lot, notify security or the
police. When you approach your car,
have the key ready. Check the floor
and front and back seats before getting
in. Lock your car as soon as you get in
-- before you buckle your seat belts.
What About Violence In The Workplace
Violence in the workplace takes many forms,
from raised voices and profanity or sexual
harassment to robbery or homicide. While
homicide in the workplace is rising, 75 percent
of work-related homicides are committed by
unknown assailants while committing a robbery
or other crimes. Despite media hype, the
attacker usually isn’t a disgruntled co-worker.
To assess a workplace’s vulnerability to
violence, ask yourself these questions.
Is your office secure? Do you have
easy-to-use phone systems with
emergency buttons, sign-in policies for
visitors, panic buttons, safe rooms,
security guards, offices access controls,
good lighting, and safety training?
Does your employer take care in hiring
and firing? Before hiring, are
employment gaps, history, references,
and criminal and educational records
thoroughly examined? Are termination
procedures defined clearly with
attention to advance notice, severance
pay, and placement training?
Could you recognize potentially violent
employees? Signs of stress that could
erupt into violence include: depression,
frequent absences, talking in a louder-
than-normal voice, being startled easily,
increased irritability and impatience,
and concentration and memory
Are you encouraged to report unusual
or worrisome behavior? Is there a clear,
written policy that spells out procedures
in cases of violence and sanctions for
violators? Make sure you know to whom
you should report unusual behaviors.
Do you work in a supportive,
harmonious environment? Is there a
culture of mutual respect? Does your
employer provide an employee
assistance program (EAP)?