U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

SafeCatch: An Educational Partnership Offering More Customer Development and Less Crime

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 76 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 26,28,29,31,33
Paul Seibert
Date Published
March 2009
5 pages
This article describes a proactive security approach developed in the banking industry known as SafeCatch.
SafeCatch was developed in 2006, in Washington State, in response to an increase in robberies and a decrease in the quality of robber recognition and apprehension. The concept is composed of three key principles: (1) staff vigilance and safe, “friendly” action; (2) clear suspect recognition; and (3) effective post-incident follow-up. There are two parts to the SafeCatch program: “Safe,” steps designed to deter would-be robbers from moving forward with their intended crime, and “Catch,” the portion of the program that is implemented if, at any point, a demand has been made. In the banking industry, it is suggested that the best way to respond to a potential robbery is through compliance: not approaching a person, activating an alarm, and handing over the cash. SafeCatch is described as a counterintuitive approach. Banking employees exposed to SafeCatch have felt empowered by the process. Staff is trained to take control of their branch environments; thereby the program increases staff and customer safety, the ultimate goal. SafeCatch is not a highly physical or technological solution. It is driven by human nature, the desire to engage with customers and the observation of people and activities within one’s environment. 1 note