Be prepared for robbery

You should know how best to protect yourself and your colleagues in the event of a robbery. If you’re prepared and know how to deal with the situation, you’ll have increased your own safety and psychological resilience.

You and your colleagues can help to prevent robbery in your daily work.

It’s important that your employer has given you thorough instruction and training in how to help prevent robbery through a security procedure, and in how your security systems work, for example security cameras and panic alarms. It’s also important that you know how to act in a robbery situation, and what to do after a robbery.

During a robbery: Don't be a hero!

If you’re in a robbery situation, don’t try to be a hero and resist. Always obey the robber’s orders! The robber will run away once he’s got what he wants or whatever he can get. Wait until he’s gone, then call for help.

Often, the robber will be tense and will be prone to react unpredictably to obstacles that prevent his endeavour. Don’t try to stall for time, make any sudden movements or move away from the area because that could provoke the robber.  The robber might think that you’re trying to escape or activate a panic alarm or similar, and this could make him panic.

The robber will be intent on not being identified or stopped.  Therefore, you should not attempt to prevent him from escaping or go in pursuit of him. That could lead to a dangerous situation.

After a robbery

Immediately after the robbery, make sure the police have been contacted. There may be customers and colleagues who need help after the potentially traumatic experience.

Psychological reactions: What happens afterwards?

If you and your colleagues have experienced a robbery at your shop, you are bound to be affected emotionally, and that’s completely normal. Reactions can differ from person to person. There are no right or wrong reactions.

Typical reactions include

  • The situation feels unreal, and you may lose your sense of time.
  • You are emotionally unstable: easily moved to tears, feeling angry or feeling anxiety, or reliving the situation over and over again.
  • You may also feel physically uncomfortable, with rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness or shaky hands.
  • You may have difficulties sleeping, or your appetite may be affected.
  • You are afraid to be alone, or no longer feel like being with other people.
  • You react to sounds, smells, certain types of customer or situations that remind you of the robbery.
  • Such reactions will often diminish over the course of around 12 weeks.

Here is what you can do

  • Talk to your manager, colleagues or family about your experience.
  • Hold on to your daily routines: get up in the morning, attend your usual spare time activities and go to work as soon as you are able (preferably the day after).
  • Get plenty of sleep and to eat.
  • Exercise to get rid of stress hormones.
  • Do things that you like.
  • Steer clear of alcohol and other stimulants.

Here is what you can do for your colleague

What can you do to help a colleague, family member or friend who has experienced a robbery?

  • Show them care, attention and respect.
  • Allow the person to talk about the incident. Listen, don’t interrupt, and accept repetitions.
  • Don’t analyse or explain the incident, and don’t talk about how others are feeling.
  • Acknowledge what has happened; don’t make light of the situation.
  • Help with practical matters, such as giving the person a lift home, arranging for the pick up their kids, and don’t let the person be alone. Make sure there is someone there with him or her.

Free and impartial help for victims and witnesses

If you’ve had a traumatic experience in connection with a robbery, you may need more  help to deal with the crisis . Talk to your boss or contact your general practitioner.

You can also call or write to Offerrådgivningen – Someone to talk to! for counselling and help.  Offerrådgivningen – Someone to talk to! helps victims, witnesses and relatives who have experienced serious and traumatic events such as crime, car accidents and other accidents. Offerrådgivningen has local branches throughout Denmark.

A counsellor will answer your call. You can tell the counsellor what happened. The counsellor will counsel you and give you advice, but most importantly the counsellor will take time to listen to you.

All counsellors have a duty of confidentiality and you can remain anonymous. You can talk to the counsellor over the phone or you can agree to meet with the counsellor. Together, you and the counsellor will find out how best to help you.

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Last revised at 05. June 2024