Why Sharing a Suspicious Incident Logbook Can Keep You a Step Ahead
There’s a belief in the jewelry industry that there’s nothing that can be done to prevent some crimes, especially robberies. Crime statistics and research tell a different story.
Those facts will tell us that nearly all jewelry crime is preceded by some type of “casing” or surveillance.
Just as you are a professional in the jewelry industry, criminals casing your business are professionals in jewelry crime. They are watching your habits and taking notes on your business layout and operations to be able to plan their perfect crime.
Your best defense includes being alert and, when something just doesn’t seem right, documenting these situations in a suspicious-incident logbook.
Whether electronic or on paper, this logbook should contain the date, time, circumstances, a description of the incident, and a physical description of individuals and/or vehicles involved.
Whenever possible, this entry should also include a link or a paste-up of video or still images of the suspected individual(s) captured by your surveillance-camera system.
Examples of things that could be documented in the logbook include:
- Individuals in your business who are more interested in your security systems, procedures, and configuration of your store than the merchandise you have for sale;
- Customers who may be dressed in a manner that is inconsistent with the seasons or the normal clientele of your business;
- An avoidance of eye contact or conversation with you or your associates;
- Odd groups of people in your business at unlikely hours;
- Individuals who are signaling or motioning to each other; and
- Customers on cell phones.
If your gut reaction is that something is not right, or you get the feeling of the hair standing up on the back of your neck, trust your intuitions! Most often, they are right! Document the incident in your logbook. Then, do the following:
- Share the logbook with your staff on a regular basis, or make it available in an employee staff room. Make regular review of your logbook an expected habit among all store staff.
- Provide information about the incident to your local crime network.
- Retain any video or still surveillance footage of any suspicious individuals or incidents, and include this information with your logbook. Share these retained images with law enforcement and your local crime-prevention network.
- Share the logbook with your trusted local law-enforcement contacts.
Having a suspicious-incident logbook is worth the extra effort. By keeping the log, you’re sending the message to your staff that a heightened awareness at all times is crucial in fighting crime. This heightened awareness is conspicuous and shows would-be criminals that your business is a hard target.
By sharing the book with your local crime network and law enforcement, you can prevent crimes against other businesses, and possibly assist in the apprehension and arrest of criminals.