(Written by socialsupport on May 17, 2018.)
Every day in our towns and cities, the retail industry deals with an array of difficult and challenging situations and incidents within, or around their premises, and retail staff are exposed to all manner of experiences which can overwhelm their natural coping abilities.
Whilst retailers are clear targets for low level theft, they are often targeted by more dangerous and hard-core criminals whose intentions are violent, and designed install fear into the minds of the helpless staff member who is an obstacle to their prize – whether that be cash, gold or jewels.
A recent and well noted rise in smash and grab robberies in London has caused great distress for many who were unfortunate to be caught up in them – weapons such as hammers, knives and machetes are often used during the course of these raids, and members of shop staff can find their lives being threatened by brutal gang members.
This type of experience, or ‘critical incident’, can be extremely distressing, and the effects can be long lasting and far reaching if not addressed in a timely and professional fashion.
That’s why Social Support Systems has teamed up with retail security specialists StoneHawk – an organisation that cares about the well-being of its clients and their staff.
StoneHawk’s managing director, Simon Wilson, is keen to ensure that victims of violent crime in the retail sector are supported thoroughly in the aftermath of an incident.
‘We already provide training for the staff of retail outlets on how to deal safely and effectively with a robbery situation, and thats been greatly appreciated by our clients, but we wanted to go the extra mile and assure them that our support doesn’t just stop there – by supporting staff in the aftermath of a violent crime, we are fulfilling a key role that supports not only the mental health of staff, but also business continuity, and future risk-management. We need to be sure that if staff are unfortunate enough to experience such a crime, any traumatic reaction they may have had is dealt with swiftly and effectively. Otherwise sickness absence and poor performance can become major issues.’
Social Support Systems are poised to mobilise their CrISIS team to support retail staff involved in critical incidents, in partnership with StoneHawk. This will mean that when a violent robbery occurs, retail managers will have the option to have the well-being of their staff assessed, and provided with interventions that are effective in reducing critical incident stress, and preventing the onset of mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This provides a great opportunity for companies to support the well-being of their people, whilst fulfilling their obligations under the Health and Safety Executive guidelines regarding the management of stress in the workplace.
For more information on how your company could benefit from the work Social Support Systems (https://socialsupportsystems.com) and StoneHawk (https://stonehawk.co.uk) are doing, please contact us

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