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Armed robbery in a shop


Armed robbery in a shop

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                                              Fifty workers were killed as a result of deliberate violence in
                                              the course of their work duties between 1989 and 1992 in
                                              This means there were 0.16 homicides per 100,000 workers per year. This
                                              rate was 45% higher than the rate found for 1982 to 1984.

                                              Of all 1,787 work-related traumatic deaths, homicide accounted for:
                                                        „   2.8% (50) in all workers
                                                        „   2.0% (38) in men
                                                        „   13.2% (12) in women

                                              Figure 1 Rate of work-related homicides – by age

                                                            Rate per 100,000 workers





Armed robbery in a shop
   A teenage student was working
part time/casually in a corner shop      0
                                                   20            30          40            50      60           70
owned and run by his family.
   At the time of the incident he was                                             Age (years)
in the shop with his father and
brother when an armed hold up                 The rate of death was:
occurred.                                               „   0.16 deaths per 100,000 workers per year
   A fight broke out between the                        „   45% higher than the rate during 1982 to 1984
teenager, his brother and one of the
                                                        „   more than twice as high in men than in women
robbers. One of the robbers then
took a shotgun out of a bag and shot                    „   highest in workers 65 years and over
the teenager.                                           „   lowest in workers 15 to 24 years
                                                                Figure 2 Rate of work-related homicides – by occupation

                                             Taxi drivers

                                         Security guards

                                          Police officers


                              Sales and service managers

                              Farmers and farm managers

                                         All occupations

                                                            0                     1                  2                 3                     4

                                                                                          Rate per 100,000 workers

                                                                Work-related homicides were most likely to involve these occupations:
                                                                           sales and service managers and staff                        28%
                                                                           farmers and farm workers                                    14%
                                                                           police officers                                             12%
                                                                           security guards                                             8%
                                                                           taxi drivers                                                8%
Armed robbery of a security                                                doctors                                                     6%
guard                                                                      prostitutes                                                 6%
    A security guard who worked for a
security firm was picking up the
                                                                Occupations with the highest rates of work-related homicide were:
weekend's takings from a car park
                                                                       „   taxi drivers
attendant (this was a routine pick up).
    The guard had two colleagues, one                                  „   security guards
who stayed in the armoured vehicle and                                 „   police officers
one who accompanied him.
    The roof of the car park was too low                        Industry
for the security van to enter, so the driver
                                                                Work-related homicides were most likely to involve these industries:
and the van remained outside on the road
                                                                           community services                                          22%
whilst the guard and his colleague
fetched the money.                                                         recreation, personal and other services                     18%
    As the security guards walked back                                     wholesale and retail trades                                 18%
towards the van with the money, two men                                    finance, property and business services                     16%
jumped from the back of a parked van.
    One shot the security guard and then                        Industries with the highest rates of work-related homicide were:
threatened his colleague, before taking                                „   agriculture
the money and driving away in the van.
                                                                       „   recreation, personal and other services
    It is not clear why the security guard
was shot, yet his colleague was only                                   „   transport and storage
threatened.                                                            „   finance, property and business services
                                                             Figure 3 Rate of work-related homicides – by industry


                    Recreation, personal & other services

                                      Transport & storage

                     Finance, property & business services

                                      Community services

                                       Wholesale & retail

                                     Public Administration

                                                             0              0.1              0.2         0.3            0.4               0.5

                                                                                      Rate per 100,000 workers

                                                             The most common mechanisms involved in the incidents were:
                                                                          shooting                                                  56%
                                                                          stabbing                                                  22%
                                                                          physical assault                                          16%

                                                             The most common apparent motives of the assailants were:
                                                                          robbery                                                   26%
                                                                          assault                                                   26%
                                                                          premeditated murder                                       24%

                                                             Common features
                                                             Common features of the incidents included:
Police surveillance
   Two under-cover police officers were                               „   sales and service managers and staff fatally injured by
performing general surveillance in an                                     robbers, often when an altercation developed
unmarked police car when they noticed a                               „   farmers and farm workers shot during disagreements with
"suspicious" person.                                                      current or previous employees or colleagues
   The officers attempted to search the                               „   police officers deliberately injured by suspects they were
suspect who then hit both officers, pulled                                trying to apprehend
out a weapon and shot one of them.
                                                                      „   security guards deliberately injured by persons they
                                                                          confronted during a robbery
                                                                      „   taxi drivers shot or stabbed by one or more passengers
Psychiatrist                                                          „   prostitutes assaulted by clients
   A psychiatrist was at his surgery
when a man (probably a patient) who was                               „   doctors and their staff being attacked by mentally
in the waiting room approached him,                                       disturbed current or previous patients
stabbed him several times and fled.                                   „   landlords shot by tenants.
                                                Other features
                                                Other features of the incidents included:
                                                       „    in nine of the homicides, the assailant was a
                                                            disgruntled current or former colleague or
                                                       „    in 19 deaths, the assailant was a current or
                                                            previous client, customer or patient
                                                       „    in at least 23 deaths, the murdered worker was
                                                            alone at the time of the incident
                                                       „    in nine deaths, the assault occurred at the
                                                            murdered worker’s home.

                                                Contributing factors
                                                The main contributing factors to the homicide deaths appeared
                                                to be:
                                                       „    the violent behaviour of the assailant, sometimes
                                                            associated with mental illness
                                                       „    working alone, especially at night
                                                       „    struggling with a would-be robber
                                                       „    inadequate security procedures

                                                The role of training and experience in dealing with security
                                                breakdown, and with the threat of violence, was not clear in
                                                most cases.

                                                Further information and inquiries:
                                                Work-related homicides in Australia were studied as a part of a
                                                larger study of all work-related traumatic deaths from 1989 to
Taxi driver                                     1992. For further information regarding all work-related deaths
    A taxi driver was found shot dead after     see: National Occupational Health and Safety Commission.
picking up two passengers who robbed and        Work-related traumatic fatalities in Australia, 1989 to 1992.
killed him.                                     AusInfo: Canberra, 1998.

                                                Further information from this study regarding work-related
Prostitute                                      homicides in Australia is also available. See: Work-related
    A female prostitute who was walking         fatalities study team. Work-related homicides in Australia, 1989
the street at night was kidnapped by a man      to 1992. Epidemiology Unit, National Occupational Health and
in a car. She was seen to be struggling to      Safety Commission, April 1999.
get out of the car, but was apparently
subdued by the man, driven to an open           Information is also available via the NOHSC Web site:
area and killed.                                                  http://www.worksafe.gov.au
                                                or you can contact the members of the study team:
                                                      Address:    NOHSC, GPO Box 58, Sydney NSW 2001
Supervisor                                                 Fax:   61 02 9577 9300 or 61 02 9577 9202
    A supervisor was stabbed to death by a
                                                        Email:    Tim Driscoll       driscolt@worksafe.gov.au
fellow employee at the supervisor’s home
                                                                  Sandra Healey      healeys@worksafe.gov.au
residence. It appears the employee was
having difficulties regarding stress at work,                     Leigh Hendrie      hendriel@worksafe.gov.au
his work relationship with his supervisor,                        John Mandryk       mandrykj@worksafe.gov.au
and his personal relationships.                                   Rebecca Mitchell mitchelr@worksafe.gov.au

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