Sir; I read with interest the article about on-the-spot fines for shoplifters (‘Shopkeepers in a fine spot’, The Grocer, April 30, p34). It is a shame the retailers interviewed do not feel that the new legislation has worked, or indeed had any impact.
While initiatives such as fines, ASBOs and police in-store are good ideas in principle, to effectively tackle shoplifting a total solution is needed.
The Centre for Retail Research has shown that the cost of retail crime on society is now £3.4bn. This takes into account shoplifting, staff theft, the cost of police and judicial time, business disruption and the cost of security technology. This can only be tackled via a joined-up approach with the criminal justice system, retailers, suppliers and the security technology company.
It is impossible to look at the shoplifting and the wider issue of shrinkage in isolation. The issue has to be top of the boardroom agenda and filtered down via retail operations directors and through supply chain managers, IT managers, marketing managers and loss-prevention managers through to the suppliers and shop floor.
Investment in preventative technology has to be a priority, as does training staff to use it properly. What is the point in having the best security system installed with integrated CCTV and electronic article surveillance when staff are not trained to use it?