Retail crime: Network cameras combat the rising risk
One of the biggest challenges facing retailers today is preventing crime against their business and dealing with the aftermath of an incident. The impact of organised retail crime groups operating within Europe is huge and appears to be on the increase. In the UK alone, we saw the total cost of crime suffered by the retail sector rising to an astonishing £700m in 2018, with the incidents of violence doubling over the same period.
To make matters worse, police resources are stretched to capacity, leading to a slower response time – in some cases, several days after the event – which means such crimes result in staff and customers feeling vulnerable. The economic and social costs of crime are huge; staff absence due to fear, and loss of profit through theft are not conducive to a successful retail business model.
To tackle this type of organised criminal behaviour, we are seeing a more joined-up strategy between retailers and the police but there is a long way to go. To get the best out of these partnerships, it is essential to have a good quality surveillance system comprising network video and IP cameras that will enable identification while providing evidence that will lead to a successful prosecution.
How can physical security help retailers?
Having high-quality security equipment that is underpinned by strong policies and processes to deal with incidents safely, coupled with the ability to present sound evidence to the police when they attend, will help to deter store crime. The police recommend that any cameras should cover the entrance, exit and other areas where high value stock is kept. Ideally a monitor displaying footage should be on the store floor, with signs telling customers that it is in use. People commit crime because they think they will get away with it, so they will offend in a retail store with a poor security profile.
Axis cameras contribute to a safer and more secure working environment in countless retail stores and have assisted in police identification of suspects. Store assistants and managers working at stores where police prosecution is successful notice fewer incidents and experience a more secure working environment. One of our customers, Antoine Ody from Amavita, the largest pharmacy network in Switzerland, said:
“All in all, the video surveillance with Axis network cameras has increased the feeling of security for everyone; the employees and customers feel they are better protected, and management can see that the employees can now react better to theft and troublesome behaviour from customers.”
A high-quality network camera solution plays a vital role in helping prevent retail store losses and shrinking of inventory, both major concerns for store owners. Surveillance that was once the stuff of spy thrillers is now commonplace, even on a modest budget, and highly developed automated intelligence has revolutionised the technology’s effectiveness. Video surveillance is no longer a passive part of the security landscape but is a key driver in the fight against crime.