Are you prepared for crime?
If a crime occurs at your facility, it can be difficult to think or develop a plan to either stop it or deal with the repercussions. No matter what kind of crime it is, it can be a traumatizing experience.
If you lead an organization, have regular discussions with staff and volunteers about how they should respond if they see a crime being committed. You may not be able to prevent the crime from happening, but you can help your organization be better prepared to react and respond.
To help, Church Mutual has compiled a list of actions you should discuss with your organization’s staff and volunteers. In all cases, make sure you notify your insurance company as soon as possible once it’s safe to do so.
- If you notice suspicious activity around your building or see that a crime has been committed, call the police immediately. Do not attempt to apprehend criminals yourself.
- If you witnessed the crime, try to remember key identifying information—gender, height, color of skin, hair and eyes, voice, scars or tattoos, and jewelry. Was the suspect armed? In what direction did they flee? Did they have a car? If so, note the make and model of the car and the license plate number.
- Make a list of all property missing or damaged.
- Don’t disturb the scene of the crime as you could unknowingly obscure evidence such as fingerprints.
- Remain calm and do not resist. Tell the robber you will cooperate fully and avoid taking any actions that would put you at risk.
- Follow the robber’s directions, but do not offer more than they request.
- After the robbery, go to a safe place and then call the police. Try not to touch anything at the scene of the crime.
- If you detect a fire in your building, immediately vacate the premises. Account for all people who were in the building and make sure everyone is in a safe place.
- Call 911 to report the fire and cooperate fully with firefighters as they try to contain the blaze.
- Do not remove any items from the building until the fire investigator gives you clearance. You don’t know what might be considered evidence.
- Call the police. When making your report, note any recent suspicious activity and any people who were in or near the building when the vandalism took place.
- In your police report, make a list of all items that have been damaged and take pictures. This will help the police compile evidence.
Experiencing crime at your facility is a frightening proposition, but Church Mutual can help you prepare. Learn more about security and crime prevention at churchmutual.com/security.