Does Employee Resistance During a Robbery Increase the Risk of Customer Injury?

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Retail business robberies can lead to employee and customer injury. Previous work demonstrates that employee resistance increases employee injury risk; limited research has investigated customer injuries. This study examines associations between employee resistance against perpetrators and the risk of customer injury.


Retail and service robbery reports were obtained from a metropolitan police department. Generalized estimating equations estimated risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Customers were injured in 75 out of 697 robberies. Employees resisted the perpetrator in 32 out of 697 robberies. Customers had higher injury risk when employees resisted the perpetrator, compared with robberies where employees did not resist (adjusted risk ratio [95% CI], 2.6 [1.5 to 4.5]).


Employee resistance against a perpetrator during a robbery increased customer injury risk. Businesses can train employees to not resist during a robbery, providing benefits for both customers and the business itself.

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