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  • Prevention Methods that work!

    Prevention Methods that work

    Communication:

    Communication between Store and its LP team are a must. When Store
    and Loss Prevention work together much in accomplished. Working as a
    team encourages communication in which both store assocaites and LP
    talk to one another about concerns and work together to make changes to
    reduce shrink. When LP/Store are more friend than foe each can use the
    other for same objective. This communication should include:

    . Weekly store meetings where information is shared
    . A shrinkage team that has represenitives from various portions and
    positions in store
    . Rewards for information leading to reduction in shrink. This can include
    ideas or tips on possible thefts
    . Open House, this means assocaites see LP Office and how LP protects store


    High visibilty:

    Let me ask you a question. Would you rob a liquor store if a cop was
    inside? Of course you wouldnt. This works for Loss Prevention as well
    if LP maintain high visibilty this shows potential external and internal thiefs
    that LP is on the job and will very likely catch you if trying to take money or
    merchandise from store. This also increase chances for communication
    (mentioned earlier). Potential thieves see LP walking about store and
    become concerned about being caught. they often leave after spotting LP.
    This works for internal theft as well. LP can conduct routine audits while
    doing this as well.

    Prevention:

    Its the name of the game! Loss Prevention or Asset Protection is NOT about
    arrests. The very names tell you the goal. Since most LPs are unarmed and do
    not have self defense trainning there is an element of danger to each stop. Prevention
    removes that by stopping the theft before an actual crime is committed. How many times
    has a GNR (grab and run) gone bad where thief gets away or someone is hurt? Answer
    too many. By preventing a GNR or any theft before it becomes an actual shoplift LP still
    protects stores assets and also stops a life changing incident! Here are some examples
    of simple prevention tactics that work.

    . GNR beginning what to do? Simple while potential SL (shoplifter) is setting up items
    walk over and remove the items left alone! If person asks where the items are tell subject
    you felt they were not safe there or that someone had left them. You then placed them back
    rack. Then tell person you know exactly where you put them and will help him gather them
    back up and carry them to register. Chances are they will refuse and even better chance they
    will realize they were seen and leave. Store keeps merchandise and LP avoids possible chase
    or injury to LP or subject.

    .Concealment Subject conceals an item on his person or in a package, bag etc. You simply walk up
    to person introduce yourself and offer them a cart, bag etc to help carry the item even offer to carry
    item to register for them. We know what will happen next. They will leave maybe run (do not pursue)
    Now in States where concealment is a crime you can still do this if you wish.

    .Presence as already mentioned if you let people see you they wont steal. If you suspect someone
    is going to steal or has already make your presence known. They wont steal more and its
    doubtful they will take any item they have already. If they do make the stop


    There are many other things that can be done but this scratches the surface. A good prevention
    program can bring down your shrink number by at least a full% in less than a year without huge
    arrest numbers. Prevention saves time money and even lives! Arrest will always happen make
    no mistake. Any stores policly should be arrest take place when prevention fails!

  • #2
    Originally posted by panther10758
    Prevention Methods that work

    Potential thieves see LP walking about store and
    become concerned about being caught. they often leave after spotting LP.
    This works for internal theft as well. LP can conduct routine audits while
    doing this as well.
    If this were the point of LP, then LP personnel would wear uniforms (and in some places, they do). Highly visible security personnel might deter some thieves, but all too often it more than likely just causes them to wait to conceal until you walk around the corner and leave. A more effective solution may be to have some visible LP personnel and some invisible (such as Target's practice of TPS and APS personnel).

    Originally posted by panther10758
    Prevention:

    Its the name of the game! Loss Prevention or Asset Protection is NOT about
    arrests.
    This is a common mantra lately with stores that are trying to decrease the liability of stopping people (because of potential lawsuits). Of course LP work is all about arrests. Why? Because of civil restitution. If your state has such a program, then an arrest means that not only do you get your merchandise back, but you recover the price of the merchandise plus a hefty civil fine from the suspect. That money helps a great deal towards repaying for all the lost merchandise taken by people that you didn't catch.

    Originally posted by panther10758
    GNR beginning what to do? Simple while potential SL (shoplifter) is setting up items walk over and remove the items left alone! If person asks where the items are tell subject you felt they were not safe there or that someone had left them. You then placed them back rack. Then tell person you know exactly where you put them and will help him gather them back up and carry them to register. Chances are they will refuse and even better chance they will realize they were seen and leave. Store keeps merchandise and LP avoids possible chase or injury to LP or subject.
    ...and you've merely displaced the crime to another time or location. In my time in LP work, I'd say that in a good majority of grab & runs that we prevented in which we did not make an arrest, those same subjects would show up at our other store in the next town over within half an hour to try to the same exact thing.

    Grab & runs are typically more dangerous than your common shoplift scenario, yes. You have a desperate thief (and usually multiple suspects) and oftentimes, a vehicle involved. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to end them safely with the suspect(s) in custody, if you position your people correctly and you've trained for the proper and safe response. In addition, you should also use other assets to assist, such as mall security (if available) or even the local police department if they are willing to assist.

    Originally posted by panther10758
    Concealment

    Subject conceals an item on his person or in a package, bag etc. You simply walk upto person introduce yourself and offer them a cart, bag etc to help carry the item even offer to carry item to register for them. We know what will happen next. They will leave maybe run (do not pursue) Now in States where concealment is a crime you can still do this if you wish.
    This is a good technique that we'd teach our associates to use if LP was not available or couldn't respond in time. I can't see why you'd teach your LP personnel to do this, however. This is an extremely simple shoplift scenario. Why would you scare the suspect off instead of making an arrest? You're just doing the suspect a favor and a chance to steal another day.

    Comment


    • #3
      If this were the point of LP, then LP personnel would wear uniforms (and in some places, they do). Highly visible security personnel might deter some thieves, but all too often it more than likely just causes them to wait to conceal until you walk around the corner and leave. A more effective solution may be to have some visible LP personnel and some invisible (such as Target's practice of TPS and APS personnel).
      The point of LP is to reduce shrink and prevention works better than arersts do! Furthermore while said theif is walking away he "may" not choose to wait he may choose to leave! Even if he does stay put whose to say he isnt being watched?

      This is a common mantra lately with stores that are trying to decrease the liability of stopping people (because of potential lawsuits). Of course LP work is all about arrests. Why? Because of civil restitution. If your state has such a program, then an arrest means that not only do you get your merchandise back, but you recover the price of the merchandise plus a hefty civil fine from the suspect. That money helps a great deal towards repaying for all the lost merchandise taken by people that you didn't catch.
      No LP work as stated is about reduction in shrink not arrest a retailer with an arrest motivated LP department is doomed for failure

      ...and you've merely displaced the crime to another time or location. In my time in LP work, I'd say that in a good majority of grab & runs that we prevented in which we did not make an arrest, those same subjects would show up at our other store in the next town over within half an hour to try to the same exact thing.
      The methods desribed for GNR were used by my team in which during my time with this retailer we had ZERO GNR and 100% recovery

      This is a good technique that we'd teach our associates to use if LP was not available or couldn't respond in time. I can't see why you'd teach your LP personnel to do this, however. This is an extremely simple shoplift scenario. Why would you scare the suspect off instead of making an arrest? You're just doing the suspect a favor and a chance to steal another day.
      Why simple any arrest can go bad its about safety and recovery not Cops N Robbers
      Last edited by panther10758; 02-15-2007, 04:07 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Panther. Years ago in hotels we were Hotel Detectives. All worked plainclothed. This has changed.I wonder if it will happen also in retail?
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by panther10758
          The point of LP is to reduce shrink and prevention works better than arersts do! Furthermore while said theif is walking away he "may" not choose to wait he may choose to leave! Even if he does stay put whose to say he isnt being watched?

          No LP work as stated is about reduction in shrink not arrest a retailer with an arrest motivated LP department is doomed for failure

          The methods desribed for GNR were used by my team in which during my time with this retailer we had ZERO GNR and 100% recovery

          Why simple any arrest can go bad its about safety and recovery not Cops N Robbers
          Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with being prevention-minded. I worked for the largest high-end department store retailer in the United States. It has one of the most highly respected loss prevention departments around.

          We had many passive prevention aspects (such as visible camera domes, enhanced sales associate training, EAS, ink-tags, etc.). But when someone had shown they were willing to defeat those measures, then we'd move in.

          Your argument seems to be: if someone defeats all the above measures, it's more productive to go up to them and say, "Hey, can you put that back? We're watching you." versus apprehending them.

          More productive how? I apologize if I'm misunderstanding you... but if someone is at the point where they've already defeated your passive prevention methods and are showing a willingness to deprive you of your product, an apprehension means you remove them from the store, you can trespass them, you cause them to face the legal system (which has an impact on some people, especially certain juveniles), and you can get a nice big civil restitution payment from them.

          That's a whole lot more productive than simply scaring them out of the store so that they can come back a week later and try it again. And I say that from experience: a lot of the people who we'd scare into dropping merchandise and leaving would be right back at it in the future.

          Comment


          • #6
            My statement was that prevention works better than arrest and and arrest motivated retailer will fail at shrink reduction. I do believe in apprehension! It takes place when prevention fails! No you don't walk up to every lifter ask for merch and leave but prevention saves time, money and even lives much more that apprehension. Don't get me wrong I support arrest in fact I had 40% of all stops at my employers but I also accounted for 75% of all "documented recoveries (non arrest recoveries) I totally eliminated GNR. My store (under my prevention methods) saw less than half the arrest of previous year yet shrink was reduced by over 1%! In previous years of booming arrest shrink rose! Yes I believe in arrest but only when prevention has failed!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by panther10758
              My statement was that prevention works better than arrest and and arrest motivated retailer will fail at shrink reduction. I do believe in apprehension! It takes place when prevention fails! No you don't walk up to every lifter ask for merch and leave but prevention saves time, money and even lives much more that apprehension. Don't get me wrong I support arrest in fact I had 40% of all stops at my employers but I also accounted for 75% of all "documented recoveries (non arrest recoveries) I totally eliminated GNR. My store (under my prevention methods) saw less than half the arrest of previous year yet shrink was reduced by over 1%! In previous years of booming arrest shrink rose! Yes I believe in arrest but only when prevention has failed!
              My question to you is: how do you decide when to apprehend and when to attempt to merely recover merchandise? The only time I would not apprehend was if I was unsure they had concealed in the first place. At that point, I would do what I could to recover the merchandise.

              When you are talking about prevention failing, what exactly are you saying? That'd you flash your badge at them when they concealed, and if they still walked out, then you'd be forced to apprehend them?

              As far as your statistics go, I think that there's probably many other external factors at work that may have influenced your shrink rates than just how many people you decided to apprehend...

              Comment


              • #8
                The decisions to arrest or prevent depend on many factors as well. I could type a week its a case by case decsion. Far as numbers where I agree other factors go into shrink numbers my number with a staff that focused on prevention showed first shrink reduction over 1% and continued to do so! Even in a partial year using prevention motivated goals shrink started going down. LP injuries went down! Non productive stops went away and Law suits were zero!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The statement that "LP is not about making arrests" is absolutely correct. In fact, no aspect of security is "about" making arrests. Fundamentally, security is about risk reduction, of which prevention is one element. Arrests, on the other hand, almost always increase the risk to the client in the form of legal liability, at least, and also in terms of potential injuries to officers and others. As such, then, an arrest should not only be viewed as a "measure of last resort", but as one that could well indicate that measures that are better and more proactive have failed.

                  The basic elements of crime - especially property crimes - are:

                  1. Opportunity/victim.
                  2. A motivated perpetrator.
                  3. A perceived lack of guardianship (so that the perpetrator believes that there is an acceptably low risk of being caught).

                  Security - and this is why it is significantly more powerful than public law enforcement - can and should seek to reduce the risk of crime by shaping the environment with respect to any or all of these elements to cause perpetrators to reconsider the risk-reward ratio.

                  A good LP program actually begins with employees...before they are even hired...by using good hiring practices. Then, employees are trained in proper customer service that accomplishes two things: (a) Helping customers find what they are looking for...we are in business to sell things, right?!...and (b) putting shoplifters on notice that people in the store are not being ignored. THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN LOSS PREVENTION ARE "MAY I HELP YOU?"...NOT "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST"!!

                  Employees are also trained in the importance of reporting internal theft, and provided with a hot line for doing so...anonymously if necessary. There may also be rewards for information that leads to a successful investigation.

                  A good LP program also shapes the environment by the way merchandise is laid out, and by the positioning of the checkout lanes.

                  A good LP program has very visible elements of protection, such as signs, cameras, mirrors, RFID tag readers at the entrances, fitting room control, and valuable items are either behind locked glass cabinet doors or secured in other ways. There may also be a visible guard force.

                  A good LP program has elements of internal control (bag/purse checks, employee parking rules, refund/return procedures, no-rings, employee purchases, separation of functions, inventory control, register reconciliations, procedures for accepting checks and credit cards, cash and deposit audits, loading dock procedures, trash carryout, etc.), and a culture of zero tolerance. All management staff are expected to obey all the rules concerning these matters themselves (this is very important!), and are doing their jobs by exercising proper oversight over the employees.

                  All of the above are preventive measures! Only AFTER all of these (and other) elements of a good, preventive LP program have failed will it be necessary to consider whether, and under what conditions, an arrest is the appropriate action to take, but in all cases it is the last step, a step that increases the risk to the client (often far beyond the value of the merchandise involved), and is often an indication of failure in some other aspect of the LP program. Yes, arrests (or some form of detention and property recovery) are sometimes necessary, obviously, but smart LP managers will analyze shoplifting incidents (and internal thefts) very carefully in terms of the store's total operational and physical features to look for ways that the incidence of theft can be reduced in the first place so that an arrest is not necessary in the second place.
                  Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-15-2007, 09:27 PM.
                  "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                  "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                  "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                  "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with what LPGuy said about civil restitution. I worked for a nationwide home improvement mega store chain. Restitution was our bread and butter. Even if you stole a .06 washer or screw, I had to hit you with a $100 civil restitution.

                    Quanity over quality was our objective. We weren't there to deter, we were there to make the client money over ridiculous stops. What's worse is when I was processing somebody for maybe a dollar in merchandise, if a high end item got out the door, I'd catch crap for it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SecTrainer
                      The statement that "LP is not about making arrests" is absolutely correct. In fact, no aspect of security is "about" making arrests. Fundamentally, security is about risk reduction, of which prevention is one element. Arrests, on the other hand, almost always increase the risk to the client in the form of legal liability, at least, and also in terms of potential injuries to officers and others. As such, then, an arrest should not only be viewed as a "measure of last resort", but as one that could well indicate that measures that are better and more proactive have failed.

                      The basic elements of crime - especially property crimes - are:

                      1. Opportunity/victim.
                      2. A motivated perpetrator.
                      3. A perceived lack of guardianship (so that the perpetrator believes that there is an acceptably low risk of being caught).

                      Security - and this is why it is significantly more powerful than public law enforcement - can and should seek to reduce the risk of crime by shaping the environment with respect to any or all of these elements to cause perpetrators to reconsider the risk-reward ratio.

                      A good LP program actually begins with employees...before they are even hired...by using good hiring practices. Then, employees are trained in proper customer service that accomplishes two things: (a) Helping customers find what they are looking for...we are in business to sell things, right?!...and (b) putting shoplifters on notice that people in the store are not being ignored. THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN LOSS PREVENTION ARE "MAY I HELP YOU?"...NOT "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST"!!

                      Employees are also trained in the importance of reporting internal theft, and provided with a hot line for doing so...anonymously if necessary. There may also be rewards for information that leads to a successful investigation.

                      A good LP program also shapes the environment by the way merchandise is laid out, and by the positioning of the checkout lanes.

                      A good LP program has very visible elements of protection, such as signs, cameras, mirrors, RFID tag readers at the entrances, fitting room control, and valuable items are either behind locked glass cabinet doors or secured in other ways. There may also be a visible guard force.

                      A good LP program has elements of internal control (bag/purse checks, employee parking rules, refund/return procedures, no-rings, employee purchases, separation of functions, inventory control, register reconciliations, procedures for accepting checks and credit cards, cash and deposit audits, loading dock procedures, trash carryout, etc.), and a culture of zero tolerance. All management staff are expected to obey all the rules concerning these matters themselves (this is very important!), and are doing their jobs by exercising proper oversight over the employees.

                      All of the above are preventive measures! Only AFTER all of these (and other) elements of a good, preventive LP program have failed will it be necessary to consider whether, and under what conditions, an arrest is the appropriate action to take, but in all cases it is the last step, a step that increases the risk to the client (often far beyond the value of the merchandise involved), and is often an indication of failure in some other aspect of the LP program. Yes, arrests (or some form of detention and property recovery) are sometimes necessary, obviously, but smart LP managers will analyze shoplifting incidents (and internal thefts) very carefully in terms of the store's total operational and physical features to look for ways that the incidence of theft can be reduced in the first place so that an arrest is not necessary in the second place.
                      Every single aspect of prevention that you mentioned was in place in our store. In fact, we conducted audits each month to ensure that these protocols were in place, functioning, and being followed.

                      At the end of the day, though, someone who breached all these prevention methods was going to face apprehension, and we aggressively pursued prosecution. There was no "well, let's give them one more chance to take it out of the bag and put it back." We didn't ask for our merchandise back. Once you began the act of theft, it was game on. You were ours as soon as you hit those exterior doors.

                      We didn't have a lot of shrink, thanks to all of the prevention methods in place. We'd average maybe 10 apprehensions a month. That's not a lot, especially for a big department store retailer.

                      My point is: Put all the work you can into prevention methods. But once someone is actively depriving you of your merchandise, take off the kid gloves. Make the apprehension and remove them from the store. The end result of an apprehension also means you prevented the theft.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You missed entire point! "When prevention fails apprehension is next course of action" Now base don your arrest numbers adn assuming your shrink numbers are low your doing a fine job! There will always be apprehension it just need not be the goal or primary defense againist shrink!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LPGuy
                          Every single aspect of prevention that you mentioned was in place in our store. In fact, we conducted audits each month to ensure that these protocols were in place, functioning, and being followed.

                          We didn't have a lot of shrink, thanks to all of the prevention methods in place. We'd average maybe 10 apprehensions a month. That's not a lot, especially for a big department store retailer.
                          Looks like we're actually on the same page. The only point I was weighing in on is whether security "is about making arrests". It doesn't look like security is about making arrests in your operation, either, and that's how it should be.

                          We on the private side have enormous capabilities that are not available to the public sector for shaping the environment in such a way that our protective domain is resistant to crime and other sources of risk to our clients and their customers. When those measures fail, arrest is the final option, and by no means do I mean to imply that it is not an appropriate or a useful option.
                          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry if you guys mis-understood me. I do believe in hardening the target (your store) as much as possible to make it hard for thieves to be successful.

                            However, thieves fall into two different categories:

                            1) Opportunistic thieves
                            2) Determined thieves

                            Making it hard for thieves to be successful at removing product from your store is oftentimes enough to deter the first type of thief, the ones that commit crimes of opportunity. That is, they come into your store and find something they like that is totally unguarded, so they take it.

                            The second type of thief, the one who is determined, will not be deterred by these measures. Many methods of prevention will fail with this type of thief. This thief will use methods such as bringing in burglary tools to remove sensors and ink tags. These thieves come into your store determined to steal. It's not something they thought up on the spot.

                            Passive prevention has failed with the dedicated thief, because right now they're in your fitting room cutting ink tags off of your merchandise. These are the types that must be apprehended. I disagree with the following methods that panther10758 describes:

                            Originally posted by panther10758
                            if LP maintain high visibilty this shows potential external and internal thiefs that LP is on the job and will very likely catch you if trying to take money or merchandise from store. This also increase chances for communication (mentioned earlier). Potential thieves see LP walking about store and become concerned about being caught. they often leave after spotting LP.

                            GNR beginning what to do? Simple while potential SL (shoplifter) is setting up items walk over and remove the items left alone!

                            Concealment

                            Subject conceals an item on his person or in a package, bag etc. You simply walk up to person introduce yourself and offer them a cart, bag etc to help carry the item even offer to carry item to register for them.

                            Presence as already mentioned if you let people see you they wont steal. If you suspect someone is going to steal or has already make your presence known. They wont steal more and its doubtful they will take any item they have already.
                            Using these methods, you are trying to avoid making an apprehension at all costs. The determined thief has already concealed merchandise and is heading out the door, and you're going to... introduce yourself? I disagree with that kind of philosophy. In some states, the thief has already committed theft by concealing the merchandise even without leaving the store. They may have already damaged your property (cutting ink tags or cables, etc.).

                            It's time to apprehend and eliminate the threat. If you decide to "introduce yourself" and ask for your merchandise back, you've merely displaced the crime to another time and/or location.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The quoted statement was not a coverall plan. Many stores have poor staffing and a one on one stop isnt always the safest course of action. As I have said decisons are based on situation not a cover all plan. Yes if concealment has taken place the normal course of action is to pursue the arrest. Not all situation are normal.

                              Comment

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