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Bharat Visani's column: Be vigilant and keep yourself safe

Jan 29, 2024 |

Hi all,

I am the Non-Executive Director for the NFSP in the Midlands Region.
There are 10 regions with a NED for each one, plus their nominated person who represents some of the multiples on the NFSP Board.
We hold board meetings every quarter and discuss current and future issues facing us as a network. The latest one took place on Monday and Tuesday when we discussed a range of different topics.
Some directors have been allocated responsibilities to deal with various aspects of our work with Post Office Ltd (PO). I am responsible for liaising with PO on security issues and have regular meetings with PO Security and update the board on PO security work. Statistics are then discussed and have an input on improving processes and communications with postmasters to minimise the risks of an incident happening.
There is a lot of information available on Branch Hub and on the Grapevine website that has useful operational guidelines and videos on various aspects of security.
Our prime aim is to keep our members, staff and their and PO’s assets safe.
PO's security teams do visit post offices on a regular basis and observe the operational practices and give appropriate advice if required.
The basics to remember are:

  • Open/close your premises safely. Be vigilant at these vulnerable times.
  • Ensure all staff are aware of distraction tactics used by criminals.
  • Lock/close all internal access doors.
  • Keep safes locked/closed at all times and open for the minimum time required.
  • Keep keys out of reach. Preferably leave them in the safe and do not leave tills open.
  • Keep minimum amounts in the till. The suggested amount is two or three hours of trading but when you get large banking volumes, lock them in the safe.
  • A good CCTV system is a must. Make sure it is operational and data is recorded and saved for future reference.
  • During delivery/collection times, be extra vigilant and follow procedures.
  • When emptying or replenishing your ATM, ensure you lock the doors and shutters if you have them. Get prepared beforehand so you will not have to close the doors for too long.

This is NOT a full list of security procedures to follow. These are available in the security manual available on Branch Hub and the Horizon Help Icon.
Should you be an unfortunate victim of an incident and would like support and advice please do not hesitate to contact your NFSP branch secretary or myself via the NFSP helpline number 01273 452324.

Bharat Visani
Non-Executive Director of Midlands