Answer by Barbara Hurst:
Major problems: (1) Not protecting areas the robber may have touched - counters, door handles, glass on doors that may have been pushed. (2) Too much conversation and comparing of visual "notes" before description of robber(s) is written down. Memory fades quickly with conversation. (3) Forgetting to try to get the license number and direction of the getaway vehicle.
Preventive measures: (1) Robbers almost always (99% of the time) case a branch before robbing it. If staff there is careless - ignores customers - does not make eye contact - is lazy and distracted - That's the branch they'll hit, every time. The one across the street with a greeter, people paying attention, interested in getting you in, business done, and out, is protected by its employees' behavior. (2) Equipment. Cameras - very visable, Man traps, bullet resistant glass in front of the tellers area. Any anti-robber equipment possible, short of arming the tellers! (3) Carefully adhered to security procedures when opening and closing the branch, servicing the ATM, or receiving a cash delivery. Robberies are on the down turn, a feather in the cap of our front line people and security officers and procedures.
Answer by Dana Tuner:
In addition to Barbara's reply -- and as an experienced robbery investigator -- there are some additional pitfalls:
- Poor video quality resulting from the overuse of the videotape (3 times maximum);
- Poor video quality resulting from the inappropriate placement of cameras (typically 30-50 feet is the maximum foridentification purposes, otherwise the camera simply tracks movement);
- Lack of an internal "crime scene commander" (someone needs to take command of the scene, coordinate internalresources, act as the intermediary for the police and secure evidence);
- Lack of an approved "corporate investigative policy" and report template (the bank needs to conduct its owninvestigation, in addition to the police's); and
- Lack of an approved "media relations policy" (let the police make all statements to the press).
First published on BankersOnline.com 10/1/01