from David Nuttall, MD, Checkpoint Systems UK

Sir; I read with interest The Saturday Essay by Barbara Wilding, Chief Constable of South Wales Police (The Grocer, July 30, p28). By demonstrating the success of the police presence in-store at some locations, she highlighted that retail crime is still a major issue for retailers to tackle. Adding this very visible deterrent seems to have resulted in vast reductions in shoplifting.
It is also refreshing to see a police force take retail crime seriously. Sadly, many do not have the time or the resources to help retailers in this way. However, while this initiative should be applauded, it only tells part of the story when it comes to retail crime, particularly shoplifting.
Police forces in store should not be seen as the only solution to the shrinkage problem. Many retailers lose stock throughout the supply chain, not just on the shop floor, so other measures have to be taken. This is where technology such as source tagging can help.
To tackle shoplifting, a joined-up approach is needed. It would be great if companies such as ours could join forces with the police to reduce the problem. The technology is there, but it is only as good as the staff using it. Checkpoint offers a training service to its customers - if more retailers trained their staff to use the technology, and police and retail security firms worked closer together, we could see greater reductions in shrinkage on the shop floor.