Attacks on staff prompt HTA security workshop for garden centre staff

Attacks on staff and spiralling customer theft has prompted an HTA fight back by rerunning popular workshops on tightening up garden-centre security.

The Security & Loss Prevention events from July to November are targeted at horticulture businesses including garden centre owners, directors and managers.

"The workshops will look at security issues that, if not solved, erode profits and incur costs," said an HTA security advisor, Jeremy Davies.

Day-to-day safety concerns tackled will include customer theft, spotting tell-tale behaviour of a thief but also reducing staff theft.

Davies, with business development adviser Neville Stein, will cover reducing the risk of cash-motivated attacks, burglary and vandalism and how to go about civil recovery.

"Attendees will learn easy-to-apply and workable solutions that can be applied, in most cases, without additional investment from the business," said Davies.

Amanda Lynas, manager of Sunnybank Garden Centre who went last year, said she benefited from an HTA crime survey and listening to other HTA members' experiences.

Caroline Palmer, managing director for Palmers Garden Centre said: "We found the workshop quite an eye opener, with good ideas, not all requiring money."

Six £75 workshops are at Coolings, Sevenoaks, 6 July; Poplars, Dunstable, 27 September; Cadbury, Bristol, 6 October; Melbicks, Birmingham, 21 October; Barton Grange, Preston, 16 November; Mugdoch, Glasgow, 25 November.

Meanwhile police gave anti-burglary security tips to shoppers at Blooms Garden Centre in Harsefield, last week.

"Blooms is one of a number of garden centres in the county that are taking part in Gloucestershire Constabulary's Defensive Gardening campaign," said the police.

The campaign, supported by Crimestoppers, encourages homeowners o use carefully chosen plants to help protect their gardens and homes from criminals in summer.


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