Contents• Key Facts• Retail theft policy: considerations• Training• How to spot a shoplifter• Shoplifting methods• The role of GSL Dardan Investigations
Key facts• Almost one in six Britons nationally are now involved in shoplifting in one form or another• It has been estimated that almost £4.4billion worth of goods has been stolen from shops in Britain in 2011 which is an increase of 6.2% on the previous 12 months (The Sunday Times, January 2012)• Items such as clothing, fresh meat and mens toiletries are among the products most prized by thieves (The Sunday Times, January 2012)• 18,000 shop staff experienced physical or verbal abuse by shoplifters during 2010 (The Sun, March 2011)• Pleasingly for businesses, 86% of all thefts did result in prosecution (Eastern Daily Press January, 2012).
Retail theft policy: considerations• Is your goal to prosecute or retrieve the merchandise?• Does your store have a zero tolerance policy for shoplifting?• Will you prosecute shoplifters under 18 or over 65?• Is there a minimum value to guide police involvement or prosecution?• How will you confront and detain the shoplifter?• What will you do if the shoplifter shows remorse or offers to pay?• Who is responsible for calling the police?• Will you train staff to collect evidence?• Where will shoplifters be detained whilst awaiting the arrival of the police?• Do you need assistance and support from qualified loss prevention consultants, retail guards or store detectives?
Training• It is crucial that staff understand the law and how to interpret events as it is always possible a misunderstanding has taken place and the person is not actually a shoplifter• If the retailer does not employ loss prevention staff or store detectives then staff training is incredibly important• Encourage staff to approach those they suspect and engage with them, asking “Can I help you?” Treating the suspect in a polite, discrete, yet firm and professional manner will help you and your store avoid allegations of unlawful arrest or discrimination• CCTV and mirrors can also help staff establish suspicious activity before a loss occurs
How to spot a shoplifter• Shoplifters can be amateurs or professionals but they don’t all match a typical profile• Your staff should however keep an eye out for individuals who exhibit the following behaviours: • Spends more time watching the cashier or sales clerk than actually shopping; • Wears bulky, heavy clothing during warm weather or is carrying a coat unnecessarily; • Takes several items into dressing room and only leaves with one item; • Seems nervous or displays unusual body language; • Large groups of juveniles enter the store at the same time and member of the group causes a disturbance to distract sales staff.
Shoplifting methods• Shoplifters’ motives for stealing can result from the most basic of needs due to personal circumstances to peer pressure, thrill seekers, individuals suffering from mental illness and individuals who regularly partake in anti- social behaviour• Many thieves often operate in groups of two or more (known as teaming up) to distract the sales staff while they pilfer• Shoplifters learn to take advantage of busy stores during peak hours, or they may hit at times when employees are less alert, such as opening, closing and shift changes
The role of GSL Dardan InvestigationsGSL Dardan, through its specialist division GSL Dardan Investigations, canhelp businesses develop store protocols and procedures, as well as provideadvice on electronic security systems that may be beneficial in reducing theft.To discuss retail crime prevention or shoplifting solutions, please contactRichard York at GSL Dardan Investigations.To view the full white paper document which includes further hints andtips, please visit http://www.gsldardaninvestigations.co.uk/newsContact detailsTelephone: 01603 732211Email: email@example.comWebsite: http://www.gsldardaninvestigations.co.ukIssue date: February 2012.