September’s StaffSafe Hero Adrian helps distressed convenience store staff in an armed robbery

We congratulate our StaffSafe Hero for September, our senior response operator Adrian Bates. Recently, he used his experience to provide vital covert support by monitoring CCTV and giving a real time report to police while armed robbers violently threatened frontline staff in a convenience store…

Adrian Bates

Adrian helped in a violent and potentially dangerous armed robbery

When armed robbers entered a local convenience store, one staff member was able to activate their silent wrist trigger, immediately linking the store and the staff to Adrian in our monitoring centre through the StaffSafe® system. StaffSafe®’s two-way connectivity enabled Adrian to see the armed robbery as it was happening and the offenders who were shouting threats of violence and demanding the contents of the till and cigarette kiosk from the staff.

The CCTV showed two men at the till area armed with knives, and another who was at the door acting as a lookout. Adrian was aware that the staff were extremely distressed and tearful while trying to meet the robbers’ aggressive demands. This was obviously an extremely frightening and distressing situation for them. Adrian knew well that his first line of support needed to be carried out in silence, without audio and visual communication into the store from him, to reduce further risk to the staff.

Essential information for rapid police response

Adrian could hear the staff in distress as the armed men threatened them with stabbing and murder. However, his approach meant that he was able to provide clear and detailed information to the police as the situation developed. This helped the police to provide an appropriate and prompt response, as Adrian alerted them to the robbers leaving the building, with descriptions of the men, the type of vehicle they were in, and their direction of travel.

As soon as the offenders had left the building, Adrian’s activity turned to reassurance and support for the traumatised employees. He connected over the speaker to assure them that they were being closely monitored and the police were on their way.

Providing the right support and reassurance during and after the incident

At a time when staff were distraught and in shock it was still an essential part of Adrian’s role to ensure that safety measures were put in place and other practicalities such as locking doors and not disturbing the crime scene, and Adrian managed this with complete sensitivity.

Adrian sums up the call: “The police were able to be on site very quickly and thankfully, although they were all still extremely distressed, the staff were unharmed physically. I believe that staff are instantly reassured when they hear a StaffSafe operator’s voice and are reassured that we have been working in the background to support them through a very difficult time. Staying on the line and offering support and reassurance until the police can get there and talking with them about the event not only keeps it fresh in their minds for evidence but the staff also seemed more relaxed that someone else was, in a way, taking control of the situation.”