Recent incidents of terrorism shine a spotlight on risks faced by publicly accessible locations. Businesses in highly populated metro areas are vulnerable to political violence, but may not have a security presence in place. Types of properties at risk are accessible to the masses, such as:
- Business complexes
- Churches, mosques, synagogues and temples
- High-rise office buildings, apartments or condominiums
- Hospitals and clinics
- Movie theaters
- Shopping malls
- Sports arenas
- Transit stations
In order to best protect these locations that may be targets for attack, it is important to recognize the indicators and to encourage employees to be aware of their surroundings. Surveillance is normally carried out before an attack, and if your employees are well informed as to which conditions should be reported immediately, an attack could be prevented.
Inform employees of types of unusual behavior or situations that should be reported immediately, such as:
- Broken down vehicles
- Individuals demonstrating unusual or prolonged interest in personnel and entry points
- Individuals sitting in a parked car for an extended time
- Loitering at bus or train stops for extended periods
- Persons exhibiting nervous behavior
- Persons or vehicles seen in the same location on multiple occasions
- Persons turning away when observed
- Someone carrying on long conversations on cellular phones
- Someone hesitating or looking around when entering a building
- Vehicle with an altered or obstructed license plate
- Vehicles parked in prohibited zones
Educate Employees: How to Report Suspicious Activity
Public safety is everyone's responsibility. If an employee witnesses suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious.
Ensure your employees can describe specifically what was observed, including:
- Who or what was seen;
- When it was seen;
- Where it occurred; and
- Why it's suspicious.
These suggestions, paired with preventative security measures and discussing risk exposures with your broker, will increase the level of overall protection for your business — should an attack occur.