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Mega store invests six-figures in security ahead of holidays

The new Quality Home Centre on Carmichael Road has invested six-figures into security for the upcoming Christmas season, Guardian Business can reveal, as crime tops the list of concerns of the mega mart.

The drive to prevent crime comes on the heels of Winston Rolle, the chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), announcing a crime prevention seminar next week – and warning businesses and customers to remain vigilant during a traditional peak season for perpetrators.

Trevor Davis, the co-owner of Quality Home Centre, told Guardian Business that the 50,000-square-foot store has 108 CCTV cameras spread out both inside and outside the premises.

“Our biggest concern is crime,” he said.

“The way we are going to combat it is through the latest technology and security. I think cameras are the most effective tool. Criminals tend to act differently when they are around. Investing in security is a big cost up front, but you’ll reap the benefits over a long period of time.”

In all, his CCTV network cost $80,000, he told Guardian Business.

He has also hired a head of security, a former casino worker, he added, to monitor the cameras from a private booth.

Rolle said part of the reason behind next week’s seminar is to reach entrepreneurs how to proper set up and utilize CCTV networks.

“Everyone is aware CCTV plays a roe as a deterrent, and also plays a role in fighting crime after the fact,” Rolle said in an earlier interview. “We want to make sure your investment in cameras is the right kind of investment. The average business person doesn’t know how to position and maintain these cameras.”

When shopping for a system, Davis recommends business owners “ask lots of questions”.

“We spoke to three different suppliers and asked about 3,000 questions,” he explained.

Of course, not every entrepreneur can afford a high-tech camera system. For the smaller businessmen, David recommends even a smaller CCTV system, which can start at around $1,000. It will still act as a powerful deterrent, he said.

Another tactic he is taking advantage of is writing a letter to the local police station request officers. Any businessmen can make this request.

Stacy Makey, the marketing manager at Quality Home Centre, believes staff loyal is key to preventing crime, as many issues come from internal problems. For example, Quality Home Centre plans to divide its staff into color-coded teams, whereby good performance means members are awarded points.

These points can be redeemed for rewards within the store, she said.

Sales, discounts and incentives for employees goes a long way to keeping morale high and ensuring workers refrain from stealing.

According to figures released by BCCEC, a high level of internal fraud and stealing of company assets and inventory is a considerable problem for Bahamian businesses, with just 8/3 percent of respondents saying they have taken criminal action against the perpetrators.

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