Armed Robbery

Guidelines of what to do during armed robberies

  • When an armed robbery takes place at a location (store, warehouse, factory, distribution centre, etc), the likelihood of the incident turning violent, resulting in injuries to personnel and customers, can be effectively reduced by the behaviour of the staff and customers

Don’t resist

  • Do exactly as you are told. The robbers are in control of the situation because they are armed, and it serves no purpose to resist their instructions – you will only be putting lives at risk


  • Regulate your breathing, taking long, slow deliberate breaths. This slows your heart rate, and helps you relax

Speak slowly

  • Don’t shout or raise your voice to the robbers. They are probably more nervous than you, and it won’t take much for them to lose any self-control they may possess

Don’t make any sudden movements

  • When you want to do something – even if it is an instruction from the robber – tell him what you are doing- “I am going to take the keys out of my pocket now” – and then do it slowly

Don’t set off the siren

  • Activate the alarm only if you can do so secretly. Many armed robberies have turned violent (with hostages taken) because the siren puts the robbers into a panic. Also, only set the alarm if you can do so without the robbers seeing you. Setting an alarm can also trigger a violent response

Don’t look the robber directly in the face

  • The robber may believe that you are trying to memorise his features for later identification, and could lead him to shooting you in order to prevent this

Give the robbers time to leave

  • Don’t shout or do anything else until the robbers have left the premises. Don’t try to be a hero. Don’t attempt to prevent the robbers’ get-away. Many crime scenes have turned violent as the robbers are leaving, resulting in deaths and injuries to staff and customers

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