Retail Security Company | ARE LOSS PREVENTION OFFICERS VALUABLE?
Loss prevention officers are very valuable to the retailer, not only because they do arrest offending patrons, but their presence in the retailer business reduces insurance premium. Additionally, most shoplifters work in a network, once they have been arrested in a retail store that has loss prevention officers, they let their criminal friends know about such store and they avoid this store for future prowling.
LOSS PREVENTION OFFICERS IN ACTION
Although the loss prevention officers make the arrest or apprehend the offending patron, they do so after they are one hundred percent sure they have witnessed the offender taking the item/stock and walking out of the retail store without paying, as this then becomes a theft.
It is important for rotation of the loss prevention officers so their cover doesn’t get exposed by past offenders making any future arrest difficult, as such rotation could be every fortnightly, monthly or quarterly.
At Security Concepts Services, our loss prevention officers are rotated through with new and experienced officers… so it becomes difficult for would be offenders to know who the loss prevention officer is at the store at any particular time except when they are being arrested.
PLASTIC BAG BAN SAGA & ITS EFFECT ON INCREASED SHOPLIFTING
In Australia, most major supermarkets and retail stores have banned single-use plastic bags. This means every shopper has to come to the supermarket with their own shopping bags or buy the multi-use
plastic bags in store. As it’s not always easy to remember to bring your multi-use plastic bags back into the shops, this has created a unique group of shoppers as they do not have shopping bags, but purchase their groceries and hold it in their hands, and walking around the shopping centre.
A few months back as a security guard who has got a lot of retail security experience, you hardly see people holding their grocery or shopping items in their hands, almost every customer had their items in a shopping bag – tucked in a trolley, or carry their shopping bags in their hands. 2018 has changed all that in Australia, and now customers have started to adjust to new changes either remembering their multi-use bags or carrying their purchased groceries in a trolley or in hand with no bags.
Now we have got a group of people who have gleefully taken full advantage of this single-use plastic bag ban and they are known as ‘shoplifters’.
How do shoplifters steal easily? Well, they walk into any store, sometimes with their own bags, sometimes bags that has got another major retailer logo on it, to look like they just came in from another store. These bags are mainly empty in their trolley, and they fill these bags with stock from the store and push the trolley straight out without going through checkout. They look less suspicious because they have different retailer shopping bags in their trolley, so it looks like they just couldn’t find what they are looking for in the store and then they just walked out. It is not true as it was just a distraction and they have stolen from the store.
Sometimes these shoplifters just come to grab items they want in the store and they just walk out of the store. As other genuine customers also have their own shopping in their hands, staff members in this retail store hardly can identify who has stolen, and who just purchased an item.
In time past, when you genuinely shop you get the free single-use bag to bag your items, and if you carry items in your bare hands the chances of them being stolen items are pretty high, and the retailer’s attention will be drawn to that customer.
The ban of the single-use plastic bag has caused a major spike in retail theft and the shoplifter is one of the biggest beneficiaries of such ban at the moment. Security Concepts Services is a company that cares about the planet and our environment, and we support such a ban, but as a security business with vast retail security experience, we advocate for the retailer to be more vigilant, hire more security guards or loss prevention officers to assist the retailer.
Security Concepts Service also recommends retailers train their staff members in theft and loss prevention techniques.
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Written by: Job Moses