David Kelly, Domino's Pizza's National Loss Prevention and Security Manager, explains why the company decided to implement a Lone Worker Protection scheme for its delivery personnel.
|The moped trackers from Radiocoms Systems proved very effective |
Domino's Pizza is recognised as the world's leading pizza delivery company. Its expertise and passion for delivering hot and fresh pizzas has earned the company numerous awards and the loyalty of millions of pizza lovers around the world.
The company takes its corporate responsibilities very seriously and has a zero tolerance policy on any aggression shown towards its employees who work in any of its 570 Domino's Pizza stores located throughout the UK and Ireland.
From the moment I started with Domino's Pizza in January 2007, I realised that the biggest challenge facing the business was that of youths, particularly in city centres, targeting our delivery drivers and riders.
The incidents typically involve a large number of youths, aged between 12-16 years of age, approaching a bike rider and threatening violence if he doesn't hand over his Pizza. The staff, knowing not to resist, simply hand over their delivery and return to the store. On other occasions the rider is returning to his moped following a delivery. The youths then demand monies, but quickly realise that the riders carry minimal amounts of money as typically deliveries are paid using credit cards or on line. This causes additional risk to the carrier due to frustration of the attempted crime.
This type of crime had been endured by our staff for some time and having spoken to other security managers it is clear we are not alone with this problem. Police unfortunately class this type of crime as low importance and it is certainly not given the respect normally associated with a robbery. I have been told a number of times by a police officer that "it was only a few pounds worth of Pizza and Dominos is a large company". My point in reply has been that this is a crime against an individual, that a totally innocent person has been threatened with violence and the crime should therefore be dealt with accordingly.
We have endeavoured to put pressure on Police Area Commanders to take action and we have petitioned MPs and asked them to explain what they are doing to combat a problem faced by many of our stores on a weekly basis. Our campaign was greatly assisted by the fact that the managers of these stores began to report each and every incident to me and thereby providing me with hard evidence to back up my argument. The police have therefore had no option but to endeavour to help.
Having made progress with getting the police to take the problem seriously, we realised that there was a weak link in how we were to quickly get accurate and precise details to the police to provide the best opportunity for the offenders to be caught.
Our research for a solution led us to the RSP-100 a lone worker device manufactured by ROMAD which was offered to us by Radiocoms Systems Ltd. We tested the RSP-100 in a number of our higher risk areas and it was immediately received positively by our delivery riders. They realised that their concerns were being addressed by the company which improved their morale as well as providing peace of mind that should they have a problem, assistance would be on its way.
From a company point of view the RSP-100 successfully does "what it says on the box" by getting the location of the individual staff member and a description of exactly what is going on to the police and it does so a lot quicker than had previously been possible via telephone.
Since the initial trials, Domino's Pizza has now provided the RSP-100 to our Head Office field staff as well as commissary drivers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
A number of arrests have been made as a direct result of use of these units. The Police are more inclined to take positive action against offenders because a recording of the entire incident can be provided as evidence. It also assists in the incident being reported as it happens, thereby providing the best opportunity to effect an arrest.
Radiocoms Systems has also provided moped tracker devices that have also proved very effective and have led to a number of vehicles being recovered after being stolen, which previously would have disappeared without trace.
In summary, the introduction of the Romad and Tracker units to the delivery network of the Domino's Pizza chain has not only created a safer working environment for the delivery drivers but has also directly resulted in the recovery of vehicles that previous would not have been possible, resulting in a reduction in running costs. In due course, we hope that these security measures will reduce the incidence of crime of this kind, materially increasing profit and customer satisfaction.