“Sharing Information” and “Better & Closer Collaboration”. For several years now, especially in the UK, these once upon a time unspoken terms have become the main topic of conversation for many retailers, organizations, law enforcement, and policy makers. You could say they have become the new ‘Buzz’ words within the business sector and wider community.
We followed and researched as 2013 passed us by, and it is only now as we move into 2014 that we are beginning to see the benefits of these words develop into actual reality. If it wasn’t for the sheer hard work between the police, policy makers and various business bodies such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC), National Business Crime Forum (NBCF), and let’s not forget all the other local crime partnerships spread out throughout the UK, then we would still be in the days of everyone blaming each other, and businesses continuing with their own policies and procedures. One very influential member of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) could not have put it better in the first issue of LP Magazine EU, “A few years ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of having collaborative public-private partnership intelligence sharing that is funded by business with law enforcement analysts working alongside private-sector analysts. If we look at the results that this has already achieved, we are now questioning why we didn’t do it earlier. If it is lawful, ethical, and works to address the issues we all face in tackling crime, then that is a positive result.” There is still a long way to go, but dare we say “continued collaboration” should be the new ‘Buzz’ words!
On that note, Shop-It Ltd (Security-Help-Offering-Prevention-In-Theft) was set-up to aid the retail, business, and security sectors in Theft Prevention with the main emphasis on the continual problem of Shoplifting. The whole domain of LP and Security is vast, competitive and even more technology driven than ever before. We all know businesses need to make a profit, period. Though, in the current economic climate the need to reduce losses and improve profit has never been greater. We had to think outside the box, quite literally! We are looking from the outside in, not from the inside out. We did not want to compete with other established companies. We wanted to figure out a way to work alongside them, establish a connection ensuring a mutual respect for one and other. After all, everyone has the same goals at the end of the day. Could it be possible? It would be challenging, but still, a very exciting prospect. While we are not experts in all areas of LP, Security, and SFM (Security, Facility Management), what we do feel very passionate about is Theft Prevention. It’s not the answer, but it’s the best way forward for us and when it comes to shoplifting….we are experts!
With that in mind, after the recent release of the BRC Retail Crime Survey in the UK, shop theft is at its highest level in nine years and yet again there is the continued talk of closer and better collaboration between Retailers, local Police, Organizations and Policy Makers.
‘Communication’, ‘Unity’, ‘Continued Collaboration.’ Could it be possible? Maybe so! If timing is anything to go by, then the time is ripe to try something totally new and unique. We have decided upon an unprecedented approach to theft prevention. We are going back to the beginning. A time when shoplifters are born! The idea…??? An online Treasure Hunt / E-Quest, an online game for school children aged 12 years to 15 years. What..? An online game you’re thinking..?? Well, YES to the participants, NO to us. It will actually be a Theft Prevention Campaign with the serious message that Shoplifting is not a good life choice, it is harmful to the victim, you will not get work with a criminal record for theft, etc.
Teams of one or more from schools in the UK and Ireland respectively, will use clues, puzzles, etc to find the answers by visiting Educational, Fun and especially Security & Retail websites to win prizes for their team throughout, with a main prize for the winner’s school. We aim to launch the game just after the start of the new school year Sept/Oct 2014. Though, the exact details for the game are still a work-in-progress.
We understand this unusual venture is not for the long term. Though, with that aim in mind, if we can prevent even just a few youngsters, never mind hundreds or more, from getting into shoplifting then in the long term the campaign could be deemed a success. For this campaign to truly have a chance of succeeding we need the Retail & Security communities to unite as one for something a little out of the ordinary, “continued collaboration!”
We are currently planning our business site which will be available to view soon, giving all the details on how to get involved. If you are a member of social networks, you can follow us on:
Alternatively, you can contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
RETAIL CRIME…….TOGETHER WE CAN SHOP-IT….!!!!!! $
(Note: Mark Gamble is Founder and Project Manager at Shop-It. We invite you to follow along with this new and exciting approach to theft prevention right here on our website and in future issues of The Hayes Report newsletter.)