Reducing the Robbery Rate
Monda, Emil, O'Hara, Kirk B., Security Management
ALARM SYSTEMS, TIME-DELAY SAFES, and cameras are used extensively in security, but their effectiveness in reducing robbery rates has not been well documented. Only a few studies have systematically assessed security system effectiveness, producing results that do not always square with the frequency with which such equipment is used. The effectiveness of alarm systems and cameras has not been demonstrated when standard research procedures are used to assess their impact.
One study used 181 interviews with convicted armed robbers.' It found that security equipment was not particularly important to robbers when they selected a target. Of I I factors rated for importance in determining the attractiveness of a robbery target, a camera, an alarm, and a video recorder were ninth, 10th, and 11th on the list, respectively. As expected, the amount of money was the most important factor to the robbers.
A second study, conducted for Southland Corporation, found that robberies decreased in two experimental sites after cameras and silent alarms were installed, but the decrease was not large enough to be statistically significant. Afterwards, security managers indicated they did not attribute the decrease in robberies to the cameras and alarms. Store clerks, however, liked the equipment primarily because it increased their feelings of safety and security.
From the point of view of the security practitioner faced with robbery prevention, these studies shed little light on ways to deter robberies. Actually, they are disturbing if installing security equipment gives employees a false sense of security.'
One difficulty with the published material is that it runs counter to the experience of many security professionals. The authors' experiences in restaurant chains throughout the country indicate security equipment is …
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Publication information: Article title: Reducing the Robbery Rate. Contributors: Monda, Emil - Author, O'Hara, Kirk B. - Author. Magazine title: Security Management. Volume: 34. Issue: 8 Publication date: August 1990. Page number: 59+. © 1999 American Society for Industrial Security. COPYRIGHT 1990 Gale Group.
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