A Study of the Effectiveness of a Workplace Violence Intervention for Small Retail and Service Establishments

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Abstract

Objective:

Examine the effectiveness of a robbery and violence prevention program in small businesses in Los Angeles.

Methods:

Gas/convenience, liquor and grocery stores, bars/restaurants, and motels were enrolled between 1997 and 2000. Intervention businesses (n = 305) were provided training, program implementation materials, and recommendations for a comprehensive security program. Control businesses (n = 96) received neither training nor program materials.

Results:

Rate ratios comparing intervention to control businesses were 0.90 for violent crime (95% confidence limits [CL] = 0.53, 1.53) and 0.81 for robbery (95% CL = 0.38, 1.73). The reduction in violent crime was concentrated in high-compliance intervention businesses (risk ratio = 0.74, 95% CL = 0.40, 1.36). Low-compliance intervention businesses had practically the same postintervention crime as the control businesses.

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that the workplace violence intervention may reduce violent crime among high-risk businesses, especially those with high program compliance.

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