Sonitrol Security

Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Retail Security: 5 Ways to Protect Your Store From Violent Shoplifters

Posted by Joe Wilson

Mar 17, 2021 10:29:19 AM

Are you worried about violent shoplifting having an impact on your Vancouver-based retail store this year? Well, we have both good and bad news for you - both of which show just how important it is to have an effective retail security solution in 2021. 

Let’s start with the good news. A month-long crackdown in January and February has resulted in nearly 300 recommended criminal charges against people police allege are violent and prolific shoplifters working in downtown Vancouver. 

The initiative, named Project Arrow, resulted in: 

  • the investigation of 250 shoplifting incidents; 
  • the arrest of 130 individual offenders; 
  • the recommendation of 268 criminal charges;
  • $37,093 in stolen merchandise recovered and returned to merchants 
  • and the seizure of 35 weapons.

The bad news is that there’s a reason why the police have taken this action. The initiative was established in response to the growing crime in downtown Vancouver.

In a statement released by the Vancouver Police Department, Inspector Rob Clarke, Operations Division, said: “Last year in the downtown core, VPD saw a 260 per cent increase in shoplifting incidents involving weapons such as bear spray, knives, needles, and guns, when compared to the previous year.”

With the number of violent shoplifting incidents on the rise, it’s more important than ever before that Vancouver retailers properly secure their premises. That’s why, in this blog, Sonitrol Western Canada has listed five key tips that will enhance retail security. 

#1 - Install a verified security solution

It’s no use just having conventional CCTV cameras in your retail store. All they do is simply record criminals as they take your assets. By the time you see these recordings, and you notify the police, the criminal will have already made off with valuable items - making them incredibly difficult to catch.

Why not catch criminals red-handed instead? You can do exactly that with a Sonitrol verified security system

Verified security alarms systems use audio, heat and motion sensors to send live stream broadcasts of your facility to a 24/7 monitoring station. Once a threat is detected, a security expert in this monitoring station is able to verify whether the alarm is real or if it’s a false alarm. 

Since alarms are verified and false alarms are virtually eliminated, police departments respond to Sonitrol alarms in just 3.5 minutes - meaning criminals are caught by they even make it out of your retail store.

#2 - Carefully design your store to make it difficult for shoplifters

Shoplifters don’t want to be violent, it’s a last resort if things go wrong. They are actively looking for businesses that are easy to target, steal from and get away from. You can deter these criminals by a carefully laid out store design.

There are several ways to optimize your store’s layout to prevent theft, the most common of which is placing the customer checkout near the entrance and exit. Knowing that they have to pass employees before they have to leave the store is a strong deterrent for shoplifters. 

Other design ideas could include eliminating blind spots, keeping valuable items behind lock and key and improving the lighting within your premises. 

#3 - Train your employees identify shoplifting, but also assess risk

All of your employees should be comfortable in identifying scams and shoplifting within your store, and how to proceed in the event such an incident takes place. Security protocols implemented by staff could include anything from no large bags being brought into the store to no hats allowed.

On top of that, they should also have an understanding of how to assess risk. Calling out a shoplifter could be dangerous if they are violent or are carrying a weapon. Train employees in spotting shoplifting, but combine this with policies that minimize the risk to your staff members. 

#4 - Ask your employees for feedback

No one knows what it’s like working on the frontline of your business better than your employees. Ask them for their feedback about the potential risks for shoplifting and violence, and whether there’s any area of your current security procedures that can be improved upon. 

Questions could include:

  • When and where do employees feel they could be unsafe?
  • Do employees feel confident in knowing how to handle a violent situation?
  • Are they aware of any of your store’s procedures that were a problem in the past?

#5 - Protect your inventory and valuable items with managed access control

If you stock high-value items, then you’ll probably have some of those products in the front of your store under lock and key. But what about the items sitting in your inventory? Make sure the back of your store is protected with managed access control

Managed access control is a form of keyless entry that uses access cards, badges or fobs to unlock doors. Removing the need for a physical key ensures you are able to restrict your valuable items to authorized individuals while having the ability to track who entered a room at which time.

Want to learn more about securing your Vancouver, or Western Canada-based retail store? Contact Sonitrol Western Canada today. Our state-of-the-art verified security system has helped police across North America apprehend more than 175,000 criminals

Topics: Verified Video Surveillance, Crime Prevention Tips

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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