Perpetrators of retail crime and fraud, come in all shapes and sizes, from adolescent shoplifters to intelligent employees. Evidence that the stores security measures are being breached, could range from disposed damaged security labels, unexplainable bare shelving and account statements that do not tally with sales.
Although many crimes involving theft has decreased during 2012, the cost of retail crimes has risen by a staggering amount to just over 29% and now accounts to over £1bn. according to the BRC. This makes the growth graver than organised crimes and requires unified action to be taken by retail security and the police forces.
Therefore distinguishing a opportunist shoplifter from an extremely methodical professional criminal will assist retail merchants to prepare an appropriate strategy in order to safeguard their commercial enterprise and customers through these difficult periods, for their retail stores and customers.
Proficient and skilled shoplifters are accountable for almost 20% of retail crimes; shoplifters that make their living by retail crime are very experienced at their profession and anticipate to be apprehended in only 10% of their offences.
Generally they only choose items that are easily sold on, in particular comparatively expensive iconic designer goods that have a willing market for a bargain. Normally very expensive high value goods are stolen to. These criminals are so experienced will visit a store many time during a day; they will target variable stores depending on their shopping list. On top of their list would be such items as; designer fashion goods, electrical items are the most widely stolen.
During the London and almost nationwide riots; it was noted that a great majority of the looters were in fact in their teens. But studies show that the age of perpetrators of retail crime are clearly more mature. Reported by a Home Office survey, the common age of a retail criminal suggests that beside adolescents there’s a sizeable diversity in the age of offenders, most being in their 30s and 40s. Female retail offender are more probable to lift garmenting, baby items, fragrances and cosmetics; men on the other hand will target electrical items, hardware, and alcohol.
The professional criminal, does his homework and scrutinises what security and surveillance systems there are; they’ll as well determine which store employee seems to be less trained in security processes.
Security staff and guards are becoming more skilled at detection and nabbing offenders employing diverse techniques, such as surveillance schemes that records shoppers; these are most beneficial when a perpetrator eventually goes before magistrates. Also there has been a growing tendency in return crimes amongst the professional criminals. They are able to make a copy of the till receipt, that enables them to return items previously stolen and receive a full refund of the cash value, of the goods they’ve previously stole. As compared to the amount they would get by selling stolen goods in pubs, boot sales or the internet.
It is estimated these return crimes are at present accountable for a minimum of 10% of all retail larceny in Britain. Retailers are responding by creating till receipts more complicated and difficult to replicate.
The bulk of retail crime offences are perpetrated by common customers lifting the odd ‘free item’. Almost 60% of shoplifting cases involve £40 or less but they add up to 20% of the total loss. These crimes are difficult to observe and even more problematic to consider legal action without disturbing lawful honest purchasers reported security experts.
Unprofessional offenders work out the risks of exposure and the profits from their activities, therefore precluding these types of law-breaking is maximising those perils. Electronic tracking, alarms and close circuit surveillance systems will all assist in combating less knowledgeable and dedicated criminal. Additionally, an individual who pursues in using apparels then returning them for a complete repayment; or purchasing a compact disk or videodisc and replicating them then bringing them back; runs little risk, aside of possible embarrassment or perhaps a dispute on the authenticity of the return. Simply exhaustively checking items that are brought back will lessen the odds that such customers will run a risk in your store.
It is imperative that the police force and the court system accept that retail crime is serious and critical in forestalling shrinkage. Numerous incidences of retail crimes are not reported since the majority of retail merchants, think the police will not act or that the courts will hand down a punitive sentence..