How Schedules Affect Church Safety
Avoid Vulnerabilities by Changing Routines
Schedules are great, they keep us on track and help us to stay organized, but sometimes, our day to day schedules can become detrimental to the safety of our lives or organizations. For place’s of worship in particular, daily schedules can be an invitation for unwanted criminal activity. Today we are going to give insight on what criminals may see as an opportunity to commit a crime on your church grounds, and how changing routines can help minimize risk. Crimes could include assault, robbery, breaking and entering, etc. The overall tip for the day is this:
“Changing routines often can reduce the chance of crime on your church grounds.”
Many times criminals watch their target before committing their crime. They may hide and watch for what time you arrive to unlock the doors to your church on a Sunday morning, or what type of vehicle the pastor drives. They are looking for isolation, when they can find their victim alone, or their target undisturbed. For example, the church secretary may arrive at 9am on Monday’s and leave at 4pm. After a few days of observation, the criminal realizes that after 5pm, no one is left at the church until the next morning. This is a time for him/her to break in and cause havoc. If this schedule stays consistent, anyone can become aware of vulnerable times and take advantage of them, but by changing routines frequently, criminals will be less likely to get away with a crime.
The same is true during worship services, schedules are potentially making your services vulnerable to an incident. If you consistently take up offering after your daily scripture reading, someone with ill intentions will catch on. They will look for the less secure time while an usher is away from the congregation, but not behind a locked door to attack. Another option is to change the location in which money is counted in your facility. Always have two or more people walk with the person carrying the money and ensure it is locked away before opening the door to go back to service.
There are opportunities all around us for criminals to commit crimes and many times, places of worship forget to acknowledge that their schedules may be opening them up to vulnerabilities. It is critical to continued safety to regularly change schedules and routines, but it is also important to think like a criminal. Understanding how a routine may become an opportunity, making you or your church a victim to assault, robbery, breaking and entering, or worse.