CCTV software - Expert commentary

Essential security tips for a loss-free Christmas season
Essential security tips for a loss-free Christmas season

With Black Friday on the horizon and shops and warehouses busier than ever, Elliot Roddy, Operations Director at CDX Security Group has shared some tips on how to keep the must-have gift items safe and secure: Regular monitoring and CCTV, Stock control and audits, and Partner with a trusted security firm. Staying alert with the must-have items  Each year, we see certain items gain popularity and become the year's must-haves. This year, social media and the rise of TikTok have accelerated the rise to the top for certain products and we can already see a selection coming to the forefront. Air fryers, Mini Uggs, Dyson Air Wraps, and Apple Watches all seem to be on this year’s wish list, while the old favourites, such as the latest iPhone or AirPods, remain must-have items. These big-value items will be highly sought after this Golden Period, making it essential for retailers to stay alert. Causes of loss  Ensuring all facilities have an effective security strategy to shrink loss prevention should be top of retailers’ lists Shoplifting, internal theft from employees, fraudulent returns, and accidental actions are the top ways retailers are exposed to loss, which will be heightened throughout the Golden Quarter.  Ensuring high-street stores, as well as warehousing and distribution facilities, have an effective security strategy to shrink loss prevention should be top of retailers’ lists for the 2022 golden quarter. Loss prevention tips Here are our top three tips: Regular monitoring and CCTV: A physical presence coupled with CCTV is an effective visual deterrent to potential shoplifters while allowing for regulated searches to ensure maximum loss prevention. Stock control and audits: Regular stock checks and audits ensure retailers can quickly identify any breaches in security and help avoid any substantial losses. Partner with a trusted security firm: Retail crime and profit loss cost the UK £ 2.2 billion in 2021, so it’s essential retailers have a professional and experienced security firm on their side to help provide an effective strategy. After the difficulties of the past few years for both businesses and consumers and ongoing concerns during the cost of living crisis, everyone deserves a happy Christmas this year. These simple steps will help ensure a happier shopping experience, improved stock availability, and a safer environment for staff and customers.

How small businesses can navigate rising retail theft
How small businesses can navigate rising retail theft

All of us have watched in shock as store robberies have occurred while playing live on social media. A mob of 80 people stormed a luxury department store, armed with weapons and crowbars, and looted the retailer. In Chicago, thieves stole handbags worth $35,000 from a high-end luxury fashion flagship store on Michigan Avenue. Just up the street, the same crew conducted a raid at another luxury fashion store only hours later. These robbers were able to net tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. Organised retail crime Organised retail crime (ORC) is a rising threat across the U.S. According to the National Retail Federation, ORC costs businesses $700,000 for every billion dollars in sales, with a majority of small businesses reporting an increase in shoplifting and organised theft in 2021. ORC typically involves individuals whose ultimate purpose is to resell stolen goods for financial gains. ORC participants often move from store to store, across jurisdictions, stealing anything they can from everyday commodities to high-end merchandise. They sell their gains through traditional fences that act as a middleman between the thieves and the eventual buyers, who may not be aware that the goods are stolen. Selling stolen items via e-Commerce Our team recently conducted an investigation where the stolen items were being sold online Recently, neighborhood fences have been replaced by e-commerce. Our team recently conducted an investigation where the stolen items were being sold online. The thieves didn’t remove the client’s labels off of the products, which were visible in the photos. Our team was able to conduct undercover purchases from several sources as well as identify individuals inside the company that was responsible for selling the company property to the subjects. Disorganised retail crime Disorganised retail crime has also become an issue across the U.S. It occurs when individuals, not groups, enter the same retail locations, sometimes multiple times a day, and are grabbing high-end items, and walking out. They taunt store staff and make no effort to hide their actions. They then sell the items on the street for cash. Why the sudden upswing in retail crime? In the past few years, the justice system has changed. Numerous prosecutors ran on a promise to no longer prosecute low-level crimes. These prosecutorial strategies were well-intended to prevent those stealing food to eat and diapers for their children from being charged in the criminal justice system due to poverty. The goal would be to get them services to feed and clothe their families without stealing. Unfortunately, it has emboldened criminals with the belief that there are no consequences for their actions. Staff shortage and less security Retail security teams have cut back significantly; many companies have adopted a hands-off policy for all members Police staffing shortages have caused law enforcement agencies to no longer prioritise or, in some instances, discourage officers from making any shoplifting or theft arrests if prosecutors are going to dismiss the cases. Adding to the issue, retail security teams have cut back significantly; many companies have adopted a hands-off policy for all members working at their retail locations, and e-commerce has allowed for an environment where thieves selling stolen goods can do so anonymously online with little chance of being caught. How to mitigate the risk of retail theft All these factors have created a perfect storm, emboldening criminals to steal whatever they want knowing that there are little or no repercussions for their actions. There are ways, however, to help mitigate the risk of retail theft: Train your staff properly to identify and observe the tell-tale signs of theft Design your store to impede the opportunity for theft, such as limiting exits and assigning staff to provide ever-present customer service interactions Adopt security technology such as non-discreet cameras utilised with monitors showing that clear images are being recorded, informing thieves that they are no longer anonymous. Cameras can be supported by artificial intelligence allowing for targeted active surveillance when needed Use inventory control practices for highly targeted items, such as requiring an interaction with a staff member to access these products. Display locks, electronic locks, electronic article surveillance tags, RFID tags, and locked display cases can also be used to mitigate risk Reporting all instances of theft to law enforcement so they can understand the intensity and complexity of the problem while deciding where to deploy resources Work collaboratively with other retail organisations to form taskforces aimed at organised retail groups to gather evidence and information that can be easily handed off to police for targeted investigations. Police need to pick up the torch by enforcing the existing laws. Although law enforcement agencies may be stretched thin and dissuaded from enforcing laws regarding retail theft due to a lack of prosecution by prosecutors, they still need to enforce the law. Being arrested, processed, and held even if for a brief time is still a deterrent. Documenting an offender’s numerous offenses should also lead to enhanced penalties. Help support legislation to ensure prosecution for ORC offenses and to address repeat offenders. This includes legislation such as the INFORM Consumers ACT that requires online marketplaces to collect, verify and disclose certain information from high-volume third-party sellers. Online marketplaces must acquire these sellers' details: (1) bank account numbers (2) government-issued identification (3) tax identification numbers and (4) contact information. Online marketplaces must verify this information and annually certify any changes to it. It allows consumers to report any suspicious activity on the marketplace Impact of retail theft Local businesses have to put pressure on both the prosecutors and local government to be tough on all crimes If local businesses are not able to address rising retail theft issues, they will inevitably have to close stores, lay off staff and take their products elsewhere. Local businesses have to put pressure on both the prosecutors and local government to be tough on all crimes. Make it known to the local officials that the loss of money and revenue at local businesses affects them as well. Effect on revenue and safety In 2021, retail theft caused federal and state governments nearly $15 billion in personal and business tax revenue. This staggering number does not include the loss in sales tax revenue. The effects of a well-established or well-known business leaving due to constant threats or crime would have a greater effect on the safety of the entire community.

Upgrading the built environment: A retrofit project
Upgrading the built environment: A retrofit project

Redevelopment, restoration, retrofit. No longer are these terms modestly viewed as construction buzzwords. Across the world, there’s an increasing appreciation and a budding culture that maintaining older buildings is the way forward for the planet and its people. Globally, cities are said to be responsible for 78% of the energy consumption, of which, buildings account for around a third of the total. And when users consider that up to 80% of the current buildings are expected to still be in use by the year 2050, it’s evident why so many are pushing for a conscientious approach. Unlocking the potential of retrofitting  "Across the UK, the built environment also contributes 40% to the country’s total carbon emissions, with its 28 million homes, by most assessments, constituting the least energy efficient in Europe." "With so many of our current buildings set to exist 30 years into the future and beyond, why should so much focus fall on new-build projects? Output must be improved now, and the real substance of the challenge is retrofitting, we need only unlock its potential," says Karen Trigg of Allegion UK. Building efficiency  A retrofit is often described as the addition of new components or features to older systems" “Despite its many applications, in the context of the built environment, a retrofit is often described as the addition of new components or features to older systems." "The process is designed to make a building perform better, and because of its benefits both economically and environmentally speaking retrofitting has emerged as a popular solution for advancing the efficiency of buildings." Energy consumption “On an environmental level, it’s widely understood that the construction industry must strive to do better. In many developed countries, four out of the five buildings set to stand in 2050 already exist, meaning the onus of addressing energy consumption lies upon us now." "Accordingly, decision makers are obliged, and actively encouraged, to prioritise activities such as retrofitting to meet the energy-saving targets as outlined in the Paris Agreement." Modern housebuilders and homeowners can look towards retrofitting Cost savings  “In terms of cost savings, the process of adding better functioning components to our buildings will benefit many. Retrofitting is an attractive proposition for most large or aging structures as it provides decision-makers the ability to improve upon key problem areas without having to consider large-scale reconstruction or demolition - saving on time, resources and costs." "Modern housebuilders and homeowners can look towards retrofitting, too, improving their footprints and putting money back in their pockets, as they seek to combat the significant rise in energy costs.” Understanding retrofit Investment in retrofit projects could have a seismic effect on the construction industry, acting as a catalyst Investment in retrofit projects could have a seismic effect on the construction industry, acting as a catalyst to the economy and improving various areas of our building network. And while its proper retrofit can play an important role, consequences can arise when a project isn’t approached correctly. Karen Trigg continues, “Naturally, modern technology developments and legislation changes will continue to drive product enhancements. Take door hardware, for example, a crucial component of a building’s fire safety, security, and everyday operation. There will always be a responsibility to ensure the hardware in older buildings remains up to standards and that we are meeting the latest in safety and sustainability regulations." Door and the fire safety “As time passes, hardware experiences wear and damage and the replacement of aged components becomes necessary. And in some cases, new products will emerge as an improvement on previous applications." "With that, an effective retrofit could significantly enhance the functionality of a door and the fire safety and security of a building - not to mention the environmental benefits associated with installing better, long-serving products." Effective retrofit projects can safeguard the quality of our buildings in the future Fire safety  “Effective retrofit projects can safeguard the quality of our buildings in the future, making crucial improvements to cost, safety and functionality. Although, without a proper understanding of the subject, mistakes will readily undo the good work that many are aiming towards." "A poorly specified or incorrectly installed retrofit could prove costly in terms of money and time and even present a danger to the integrity of a building’s fire safety." Professional guidance  The first step of the retrofit installation is to ensure the selected hardware replacement is suitable for the application “A retrofit must be completed consciously and professionally, with reliable replacements. Failing to do so could be a breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order." "Whether an environmental or safety-conscious choice, the first step of any retrofit installation is to ensure the selected hardware replacement is suitable for the application, and decision-makers must understand the reasons behind their choices or seek professional guidance." UKCA and CE certifications “For door hardware specifically, retrofit projects must also be compliant under UKCA and CE certifications and be fitted to the manufacturer’s instructions, by BS EN 1154." "Decision makers can refer to the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) for clear, accurate, up-to-date and accessible product information in line with the Building Safety Bill’s regulatory framework known as the Golden Thread of Information." Doors testing certification “While the benefits are clear, all retrofit projects must comply with the doors testing certification. Consequences often result from retrofits that are not properly thought out, especially when the selection of appropriate alternatives is flawed." "Generally, to improve understanding of what is required, education on the subject must be developed further. Because with a long-term, large-scale strategy, retrofit projects could provide wide-reaching returns for all involved.”

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