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Tyco - Building your defenses against organized retail crime

Tyco Retail Solutions recently published a whitepaper focused on retailers and organized retail crime. Over the last few days the Daily has published the report in parts. Here's the final part. To view the entire article click here.

Defenses and countermeasures

Deploying new technologies
Extensions of Electronic Article Surveillance technologies specifically targeting Organized Retail Crime are now available; they include:
• Jammer detectors that respond to the signals thieves use to overwhelm the electronic resonances on which EAS detectors depend. Even though jammers are turned on for only a few seconds as a thief exits the store, a positive read from a jammer detector indicates an ORC event with virtual certainty.
• Booster-bag detectors detect aluminum-foil-lined containers as they are carried into the store.
• Selective remote alarms direct information from jammer detectors and boosterbag detectors to notify staff that a thief has entered the store. Systems may be programmed to sound a unique tone so staff can respond appropriately, or send a silent alert so that Security and Loss Prevention personnel can initiate surveillance.

In jurisdictions like the United Kingdom and Australia, carrying a jammer or booster bag is evidence of "going equipped to steal" — a crime in itself. And almost everywhere, detection of shoplifting equipment gives security staff or law enforcement justification to detain the individual so equipped — a powerful deterrent.

New applications of video surveillance are the next stage in the fight against shoplifting of all kinds, and Organized Retail Crime in particular:
• When jammer and booster-bag detectors are linked to digital video surveillance, stores will capture pictures of potential thieves entering and leaving the store — a powerful tool for both training and enforcement. And when item-level information from Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are integrated into Loss-Prevention, stores can link video evidence of theft events to goods recovered from thieves at the storefront or in the parking lot.
• Advanced technologies now in the development pipeline will extend video surveillance to include facial recognition, monitoring of "exception behaviors" typical of gang theft, and storewide surveillance that follows likely thieves through the store.
• Pervasive video—already a factor in prosecuting crime in public areas—is on the retail horizon, with shelf-level cameras linked to advanced detectors to provide an end-to-end record of theft events, together with a way to filter out the activities of legitimate shoppers.

Organized Retail Defense
The final step in the fight against Organized Retail Crime will come when retailers themselves organize, turning the gangs’ most powerful method against them. This will take several forms:

Predictive analytics—integration of information from EAS, jammer, booster-bag, and RFID detectors, video surveillance, human intelligence and more can identify patterns of theft within and across stores, for efficient deployment of deterrents, countermeasures, and enforcement.

Real-time adaptive analytics—monitoring Point-of-Sale (POS) data, store traffic, and real-time inventory lift from both sales and theft will help stores align associate staffing to patterns of shopper behavior, deploying them to maximize sales and minimize theft. The keys to success are to combine and interpret signals in real time with context, and adapt monitoring to changes in traffic and threat level.

• Collaboration and enforcement—the retail industry, together with government and law-enforcement agencies, are beginning to organize against the regional and national problem presented by ORC. Collaboration can start as simply as lunches, training and data-sharing among retailers at a single mall, and extend through public-private partnerships such as LERPnet all the way to national legislative initiatives and cross-border extradition agreements.

Organized Retail Crime is emerging as a significant threat to retailers worldwide. Its growing incidence and sophistication, the high costs for every incident, and advanced opportunities for monetization mark it as a global problem deserving immediate, sustained attention.

Extensions of current policies and technologies are helpful, but not enough: integration, adaptation, and information-sharing are the keys to a strategy that will reverse the trend. With targeted programs and investments, retailers can expect the direct benefits of loss reduction, and indirect benefits from more efficient, cost-effective staff deployment, improved deterrence and recovery, and ultimately, a better, safer shopping experience for their customers.

Tyco Retail Solutions offers a broad range of technology and software solutions to help retailers combat Organized Retail Crime, including
• Jammer Detection feature built into many detection systems, so retailers can detect and counteract attempts to defeat their Loss Prevention technologies
• Metal-Foil Detection upgrades for Ultra Exit detection system, so retailers can detect foil-lined booster bags carried into their stores
• Alarming High Theft Tags and Wraps omit loud audible alarms from the sensors themselves, so retailers can deter ORC shelf sweeping
• Shrink Visibility solutions combining AM and RFID technologies for insight into theft events and guidance for replenishment
• EAS Intelligence Reporting of jammer and metal foil alarms by store, so retailers can analyze, isolate, and resolve ORC vulnerabilities
• Electronic Public View Monitors providing shelf-level visibility and linked to advanced detectors for end-to-end recording of theft events
• Video Analytic Solutions that monitor shoppers’ dwell time to detect and report ORC-signature "sweeping" events

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