Height strips give the Police the height of the fleeing robber caught on CCTV
These days the purpose of height strips is mostly psychological. And their target is both customers and robbers. Convenience store owners want their stores to look safe and welcoming to customers at all hours, and height markers—along with good lighting and security cameras—are meant to signal that the store and the chain take safety seriously. Apparently, the opposite possibility—that anti-crime measures will suggest that a store and its customers have something to worry about—isn’t a great concern. Perhaps we’ve gotten used to cameras, or have come to view crime as an ever-present possibility.
Experts say that unlike cameras, the Psy-Ops impact of height strips on regular customers is limited, because few customers notice them, and fewer still consider their purpose. But criminals, they say, do notice them. To a potential stick-up artist, height strips have come to indicate the presence of the entire array of successful anti-crime measures developed for convenience stores over the last few decades. A store that deploys height strips signals that it is taking security seriously. A robber might well decide to take his or her business elsewhere.