Editor’s note: Onyokoko Nyore Samuel, the NAIJ.com partner blogger, explains 8 ways banks can provide watertight security against armed robberies.
Samuel is a security consultant, an entrepreneur, a blogger, a poet and a freelance writer.
He writes articles on security matters. He can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details in NAIJ.com’s step-by-step guide for guest bloggers
If there is any institution that is prone to attacks on a daily basis is on other than the banking institutions. They deal with money and these monies get to move around frequently. Thankfully, with the cashless economy, the movement of cash has become less frequent. Again, this has not deterred men of the underworld from attacking banking halls and escaping with large sums of monies.
Majorities of their branches are located in remote and volatile areas where attacks are inevitable but manageable. In fact, headquarters do not get feedback in time to forestall further attacks which happens again and again.
The banks are there to provide a safe haven for people’s monies and ensure proper documentations. When armed robbers keep attacking these banks, customers confident begin to dwindle. This phenomenon is not good for the banking sector.
These are salient questions one need to ask and these questions relate to the issues facing the banking institution.
How can banks provide effective security networks to deter armed robbers from invading their premises?
· What are loopholes banks need to fix to alleviate insider collaborations?
· What are alternative measures put in place to stop robbery attacks where there are security breaches?
· Why are some banks not making use of security consultants to provide effective and efficient security services to their problems?
· Are banks doing enough in the area of security monitoring and control?
· Who are those saddles with the responsibilities of providing proper management of the banks’ security networks? Are they up and doing?
· Are the banks utilizing the technological aspect of their security networks?
· Are the banks engaging the services of the Nigeria police and other paramilitary arms in strengthening their security apparatus?
· What measures are the banks putting in place to tighten security around their branches in remote areas?
These are simple but germane questions that can help banks strengthen their security arms and protect staff and assets.
The banking sector needs to come up with blueprints. These blueprints can effectively tackle this societal menace. They need to pump financial resources in their security networks to stand any chance of fighting incessant attacks from desperate criminal elements.
Below are tips to provide effective measures against armed robberies.
1. Plant a mole inside the bank
The first thing banks need to do if they are serious about fighting incessant attacks in their bank branches is to put somebody as a mole to monitor activities. He may disguise as a staff, a cleaner, or a messenger.
It must be someone who can move around and monitor staff activities. The staffers might not suspect a worker of the lowest cadre. The more humble the mole is the better. Staff tends to like and trust a humble staff they can push around.
He should report to a security supervisor who is not part of the branch setup. The security supervisor will in turn report to the headquarters. There is no way they will not spot an informant or somebody trying to sabotage the banks effort in profit maximization.
This strategy will involve a lot of human and financial resources. The mole will monitor phone calls, official conversations, and grapevines.
2. Do monthly rotations of staffers
Do not hesitate to do continuous staffers rotation. Do not allow a staff to spend more than a month in a branch, maximum, two months.
This strategy will disrupt any fraudulent plans they might be cooking. Do take them unaware. When staff spend more time in their place of work, they become comfortable and familiar with the banking environment.
They become greedy and start hatching sinister plans to either defraud the bank or connive with outsiders to rob the bank. Many times, when a staff is found culpable in fraudulent activities, be aware that he has spent many months or years in that branch.
3. Ban all phone calls during working hours
This strategy might seem harsh but if put into use, it will minimize the use of phone calls to commit crimes. When a staff cannot communicate with his collaborators, their plans will be fruitless. At the initial stage, staff might resist the move. They will fall into plans as time goes on. This is one of the effective ways to disrupt insider-outsider collaborators.
After a robbery attack occurs, it is certain that a staff member could have made contact with the robbers. The bank staff could have informed them how vulnerable and porous the banking security apparatus was.
He could have told them how many mobile police officers are on ground, how many banks’ security guards are in the premises and the number of CCTV cameras install within and outside the banking hall.
Bank robbers depend on informants to feed them with up-to-date security details and loopholes. Their successes can go smoothly or awry depending on the accuracy of the informant.
4. Brief staff on simple security tips
The banking staff needs to know some simple security tips to alert management on suspicious activities in and outside the banking hall. I believe some banks are imbibing these attitudes in their staffers.
Nevertheless, the banks need to do more in the area of security sensitization. One of such security briefing is what the staff should do when there is an infiltration of armed robbers into the banking hall. Another is to stay alert at all times to spot suspicious activities around the hall.
All should imbibe security and safety. Not only the security managers or supervisors should know about security awareness. Security is about collaboration. Security is about teamwork.
Those saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the movement of customers and visitors alike should make effective use of CCTVs installed in and outside the banking hall.
5. Build a safety hub in the bank
There are times when there is a breach in security. Where do customers and staff members run to hide? Banks should deemphasize a little less on making money and put more resources in the area of securing their staff and asset from attack.
I am sure many banks do not have a secure hub or room where people can run to when they come face-to-face with danger. It should be bulletproof resistance to withstand powerful firearms.
6. Work with security agencies to protect your assets
Many banks are collaborating with security agencies to secure their banking halls and premises. However, others do not bother to engage their services. The banks security guards do not have the wherewithal to engage these hoodlums in gun battle.
Mobile police officers have gone through tough training to defend the populace and banks should engage their services. The amount you pay so that they can protect your bank branches are not more than what you will lose in the end. I think some banks are too money conscious to invest in their capital and human resources.
7. Banks should invest in drones
This may come as a surprise to some. Drones are the main thing right now. It can provide aerial view of human and vehicular movements in and outside the banking premises. If the likes of Google, amazon, and the likes are using drones to make their business activities easier, it means the banking sector must purchase and make use of these devices.
Drones can take pictures, scan, do life videos, and record. CCTVs are effective but people are moving into other innovative areas. My job as a security consultant is to give banks innovative ways to protect and secure their assets from criminal elements including insider informants.
8. The banks security supervisors should meet every quarterly
This is to enable them map out plans to secure their assets from compromise. I do not think banks have this strategy on ground.
Base on the slow but ascending rate of suicide attempts in the country, I decided it is best I write something to encourage people going through rough and tough times.
I am relieved as I pen down this article. I hope it does the same to you too. Don’t forget to like this article on my blog.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.
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