Despite ongoing efforts to reduce crime in Venice, armed robberies and other forms of theft keep happening in alarming numbers. Amidst the rise in assaults, shootings, and other violent crimes, many residents and business owners are finding ways to take matters into their own hands.
While the notion of everyday citizens taking action against criminals conjures up images of vigilantism and mob justice, the men and women of Venice are resorting to more practical solutions. In particular, many boutique and bodega owners are beefing up security to cut down on rampant theft.
For residents familiar with these tiny shops and stores, as well as visitors popping in for the first time, the recent upgrades to security can seem a little jarring and disruptive. However, they’re being done in the best interest of everyone. With this in mind, let’s take a look at several ways the many boutiques and bodegas in Venice are beefing up their business security:
Using secure locker systems
A rise in shoplifting leaves many retailers in search of ways to protect their limited inventory. By using secured electronic parcel lockers, bodegas and boutiques can safely sell products without placing them within reach of thieves. Whether it’s groceries, jewelry, shoes, or other handheld merchandise, the items sold by small shops in Venice can go directly from a secured backroom to the secured package locker. It’s an effective way to drastically cut down on shoplifting while also providing consumers with a safer means of picking up their merchandise.
Installing high definition surveillance cameras
Security cameras are traditionally considered a deterrent more than an investigative tool. But ever since it became cost-effective for small businesses to record video surveillance footage in high definition, bodegas and boutiques are using security cameras to identify shoplifters in case they come back. In the event of a significant criminal offense, such as armed robbery, HD footage of the assailant can now help law enforcement identify the suspect faster, helping to prevent similar crimes from happening in the future.
Hiring armed guards
It’s becoming more common for retailers to pay armed security guards to stand at the front door and patrol the sales floor. While it’s not the most affordable way for small business owners to beef up their security, armed guards provide an immediate form of protection and serve as an effective means of deterrence. However, the decision to hire security personnel will ultimately depend on the value of the merchandise and the risk of violence. For example, a jewelry store business will see armed security as more practical than a souvenir shop.
The decision to go cashless is one no retailer takes lightly. After all, doing so could lead to a significant drop in sales. However, for businesses in which the typical transaction is already debit or credit, the choice to refuse cash as a form of payment makes a lot of sense. Doing so makes them far less likely to become victims of armed robbery since the goal of most armed robbers is to steal cash, not merchandise.
Staffing more employees
As the saying goes, there’s safety in numbers. While it’s tempting to run a small store with a skeleton crew, there should always be at least two people there at all times. That’s because, statistically speaking, retail employees working alone are more likely to be the victims of violence. Many local businesses are deciding the benefits of added staff outweigh the cost.
While there are other ways the many bodegas and boutiques in Venice are beefing up security, these five are the most popular. Most local businesses have already invested in alarm systems for after-hours break-ins, but the latest uptick in thefts is mainly in the form of shoplifting and armed robberies. These types of crimes require stronger, more direct forms of protection like those mentioned above.