Retailers are dealing with an increase in organized retail crime in their stores, as well as an uptick in other crimes happening just outside their doors. Now, more than ever, it’s important to look at crime prevention strategies and reevaluate how decisions are made to help keep the shelves stocked and employees and shoppers safe. Shifting from reactive to proactive strategies that are grounded in data is one way to reduce crime. Here’s how.
1. Enforce Policies and Procedures
When possible, policies and procedures related to crime prevention should be developed using data and then continually enforced to help prevent crimes. Policies—like who has permission to open and close the store, who may hold keys to the store, what to do in case of a theft or an emergency, who may handle money, and whether background checks are completed on employees—are sometimes created in a vacuum without considering the actual data indicating the true risk of these crimes. Thereafter, the policies are not always followed. Any lapse by managers or employees can leave stores vulnerable to crime.
When developing procedures, it’s also important to consider things like what employees know about security, how cash is deposited at the bank, rules around keeping doors locked at all times, and even where signage may go so as not to block employees’ view of parts of the store or outside.
2. Develop Data-Driven Training Programs, then Train and Retrain
While some rules and procedures may seem like common sense, it’s easy for employees and managers to ease up on rules and relax their focus and awareness. Both new and seasoned employees should take part in crime prevention training. Training can include:
- How to open and close a store
- What they may and may not share about cash amounts on the premises
- What they may and may not share about security in the store
- What to do in cases of suspicious activity
- How to report theft or other crimes after they’ve occurred
- Reminders about who may access management offices or who has access to entry codes
3. Make Data-Backed Decisions on Staffing and Security
In addition to ensuring employees are properly trained and that policies and procedures are enforced, every retailer should consider deterrents like cameras, alarm systems, and guards. But not every retail location is created equally. Even with the increase in crime over the last two years, some stores are at much higher crime risk than others.
Using crime risk data can help you understand:
- How to benchmark shrink and loss
- Where to use EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance)
- Where and when to lock up inventory
- How to define self-checkout guidelines
- The best protocols for package and delivery safety
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CAP Reports are critical to my risk assessments. They have enabled us to take a more surgical approach to investing in our stores that need it the most.
Senior Manager of Asset Protection
Five Below, Inc.
CAP Index is the first tool I turn to when time is of the essence. I can always depend on CAP Index to provide me qualified crime information within a very few minutes that I feel comfortable reviewing with the C-Suite.
Stephen A. Brown, CPP
Director, Corporate Security / Facility Security Officer
Burns & McDonnell
CAP Index data is a vital part of our security decision-making process.
Keith McGlen, CPP, CHPA
Associate Vice President
System Security Services
Memorial Hermann Health System
CRIMECAST® Reports have helped our organization for many years to proactively assess the particular risk for crime surrounding our facilities. The CAP Index® CRIMECSAST Platform is an easy-to-use online service that provides us with the flexibility to share and decentralize crime risk data within our North America business units.
Carlos J. Cortez,
Manager, Global Security Programs,
Kraft Foods, Inc. / Mondelez International
Our property selectors are not discouraged from a site just because it receives a high score. What we do is issue every store – all of them – a security classification. The classification determines how we allocate our security resources to that store.
CAP Index's online platform, CRIMECAST, is great. It is easy to use and quick!
Bank of America
In industries where there is high public contact and a customer is coming to our location (such as retail), why would you leave it to chance when planning security when there is an easy, affordable tool? When investing a million dollars on a location, what is this small charge compared to what it may cost you when you get sued?
CAP Index assessments are a must for anyone engaged in asset protection. The new website is much improved and as important, easy to navigate.
The Williams Companies
We have been using CAP Index for a few years and include it in our security vulnerability assessments. Highly recommend it.
Director, Protective Services
Nationwide Children's Hospital