Tag Archives: Loss Prevention

Ocucon scoops six Fraud Awards nominations

Ocucon, the world’s first Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) system, has been shortlisted across a range of categories for this year’s prestigious Fraud Awards, the leading accolade for those in the UK’s retail risk and loss prevention sector.

Organised by loss prevention conference Retail Risk, the Fraud Awards celebrate the very best individual and team performances, innovative new products and winning strategies within the retail and loss prevention sector over the last year.

Judged by a panel of internationally-renowned loss prevention professionals, the winners and runners-up will be announced on 4 October at the Fraud Awards Gala Dinner, to be held at Leicester City Football Club.

Breaking new ground in surveillance technology, the Newcastle-based Ocucon has been shortlisted a total of six times across five categories for its unlimited cloud-based storage platform, Ocucon, as well as its intelligent video redaction service Ocucon Pixelate.

OcuconTeam

The Ocucon team (from left to right): Simon Gardner, Maral O’Brien, Stuart Ferguson, Gary Trotter and Stephen Purvis

Categories include:

  • Best Newcomer – recognising the most exciting new solution or company to enter the retail risk and loss prevention arena – Ocucon
  • Best Newcomer – Ocucon Pixelate
  • Most Innovative In-Store Solution – celebrating innovative approaches to an existing, tried and tested solution or genre – Ocucon
  • Best Collaborative Solution – recognising products, solutions or services resulting from genuine collaboration that deliver a clear Return on Investment – Ocucon
  • Most Innovative In-Store Surveillance Solution – celebrating innovative new uses of camera or surveillance technology benefiting the wider business – Ocucon
  • Most Innovative Cross-Functional Solution – recognising innovative products, solutions or services that have a risk or loss prevention benefit, but sit outside of the Profit Protection Department – Ocucon Pixelate

Ocucon’s co-founder Gary Trotter commented: “To be shortlisted in this year’s Fraud Awards and across so many categories is testament to the great team we have based here in Newcastle, as well as our innovative and collaborative approach. Since our launch in October, we’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Dell and Google, to deliver the first-of-its-kind cloud-based storage service for CCTV and surveillance technology and launch our new intelligent video redaction service Ocucon Pixelate. As a result, we’ve seen significant interest in Ocucon both from large UK corporations and retailers, but also major retailers in North America. Our story is just one example of how tech start-ups can thrive here in the North East to compete on both the UK and the global stage.”

Launched in October last year, Ocucon is set to revolutionise the ability of businesses to defend against fraudulent cases of slips, trips and falls – currently estimated to cost the UK’s economy alone more than £800 million each year – by removing physical limitations on the amount of surveillance footage an organisation can save.

Ocucon delivers a powerful, cloud-based storage and retrieval platform combining intelligent data analytics with the facility to store, analyse and retrieve unlimited amounts of HD video surveillance footage from within the Ocucon portal.

Ocucon is expected to be of interest to any organisation capturing significant amounts of CCTV data. Since its launch, Ocucon has seen significant interest from both UK and US supermarkets and retail chains.

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T3 Security signs guarding deal with Poundworld Retail Group

T3 Security has signed a major contract with a national retail firm Poundworld which will see it expand guarding operations into Scotland and the North West.

Gosforth-based T3 Security has struck a deal with the Poundworld Retail Group to provide security staff in 30 stores across the northern half of the UK. In 2015, Poundworld Retail Group sold a majority shareholding to TPG which is a private equity group.

To meet the demands of the contract, T3 Security will now recruit an extra 30 staff to man the outlets as the contract is rolled out over the coming weeks.

T3Security

Stacey Mitchinson of the Poundworld Retail Group pictured with T3 Security’s Peter Moore and Richard Townsend

Peter Moore, who co-directs T3 Security with partner Richard Townsend, told Risk UK: “This is a big contract for us with a national retailer, and is testament to how much the business has grown. We’ve already had to employ 30 people to man the stores we’ve been contracted to manage, but there’s the potential for more to be recruited if we’re awarded the security management remit at more stores.”

Moore added: “It’s a great partnership, not just for us because it has enabled further growth, but for the Poundworld Retail Group as well. The company’s stores will be well protected by trained and professional security staff.”

Chris Edwards, CEO of the Poundworld Retail Group, commented: “We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with T3 Security. The safety of our customers and staff is paramount, and we’re confident that T3 will be able to deliver the levels of security we need in order to give our customers a great shopping experience in store, while at the same time keeping our staff safe. We’re also really pleased that the partnership has allowed the creation of 30 extra jobs.”

Training for new staff members

Moore and Townsend have drafted in one of their most experienced members of staff, who has worked for 25 years in the field, to train the new members of the team at T3 Security.

Townsend has even found himself practising what he preaches after catching a thief himself during a routine trip to one of the new stores.

Moore said: “The training is in place from us at the head of the business, all the way through to our security staff on the ground. The business is going from strength to strength. We believe it’s down to our ethos that we always go the extra mile for our clients, and also equip our staff with the relevant training for them to do the job properly.”

T3 Security was launched by Moore and Townsend in 2012, initially supplying just two venues with staff. Before signing the Poundworld Retail Group deal, the company employed 100 staff with a portfolio of over 40 locations from Blyth in Northumberland to Newcastle, Whitley Bay, Sunderland, Washington, Hartlepool and Stockton on Teesside, with pub chains like John Fitzgerald and Tavistock Leisure among its growing client base.

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UK retailers lose £2.7 billion to shoplifting, employee theft, internal fraud and administrative errors in last 12 months

According to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer, shrink – comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors – has cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013 and £2.7 billion in the UK alone. This represents 0.97% of all UK retailer sales on average.

Underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, the research was carried out in 2014 by The Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst. It’s based on in-depth phone and written survey interviews conducted in 24 countries among 222 retailers responsible for no less than £475 billion in sales.

The average cost of retail crime per person (which, unlike shrink, is based on dishonest employees, shoplifters, fraudulent suppliers and the cost of loss prevention) across the 24 countries surveyed ranged from £46 to £338. The annual cost of retail crime to UK shoppers, as passed on from retailers, averages £80.00 per person.

Shrink appears to be down slightly in most countries. The lowest shrink rates were recorded in Norway (.83% of retail sales) followed by Japan and the UK (.97%). The US came in at 1.48% of retail sales, down slightly from 1.50% last year. The highest rates were recorded in Mexico (1.70%) and China (1.53%).

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Russell Holland, vice-president of sales for the UK and EMEA distributors at Checkpoint Systems, said: “Over the last year, retailers in the UK have been taking great strides and made substantial investments in the fight against retail crime. Many UK retailers reported that improved security methods have helped them to keep losses under control. We’re also seeing retailers invest in their employees’ education and understanding of loss prevention, marking an encouraging step in the fight against retail crime in the UK.”

While shoplifting remains the biggest cause of all retail shrink in 16 of the 24 countries surveyed, here in the UK both administrative and non-crime losses ranked first (at 36.5%) with shoplifting next on the list (at 25.3%).

Stolen merchandise: the most popular items

The most-stolen items across Europe are those products that are easy to conceal and harbour a good resale value, such as fashion accessories, wines and spirits. Other frequently stolen products include power tools, mobile accessories and make-up products.

Survey respondents state that source tagging – the application of EAS or RFID labels on goods prior to their arrival at retail stores – has increased around the globe. Such tagging is currently used on high value and high theft items like meat, health and beauty products and alcohol.

80% of UK retailers are source-tagging up to 10% of products. A further 20% are source-tagging over 20% of all merchandise. In addition, 50% of European retailers plan to increase the number of source-tagged SKUs.

According to The Smart Cube: “This report provides detailed descriptions of the sources of shrink and helps retailers understand the most cost-effective ways of addressing their problems. A number of Best Practices emerged from our research, including appropriate spending ranges to address the issue.”

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

“We’re pleased to support this global statistical research for the thirteenth year,” said Per Levin, president and chief sales officer for shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions at Checkpoint Systems. “Our hope is that retailers can learn more about the causes of shrink and work with their suppliers and solutions partners to create joint programmes designed to reduce shrink and its associated costs.”

Interested parties can obtain a copy of the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer report by logging on at: http://www.GlobalRetailTheftBarometer.com

*Retailers wishing to participate in next year’s Global Retail Theft Barometer study may register here

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National Business Crime Solution helping to “save millions” in fight against retail criminality

The National Business Crime Solution – a not-for-profit initiative providing businesses with access to a collaborative partnership that spans the public and private sectors as well as law enforcement agencies – has revealed how it has helped to cut crimes costing retailers £650,000 per month, which equates to over £8 million per annum1.

Supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) realises a central repository where business crime data is submitted, shared and analysed in order to determine key threats, linked crime series and national targets that can be investigated.

Sue Fish, deputy chief constable at Nottinghamshire Police and ACPO’s national lead on business crime, commented: “At the recent British Retail Consortium Retail Crime Conference, it was great to see both national organisations and police forces speaking highly of the pockets of intelligence that have been enhanced thanks to the sharing of information with the NBCS. It’s brilliant to witness the initiative working independently of policing and with a governance structure that provides all businesses with an opportunity to contribute.”

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-20132 and, with a reported rise in organised crime and further cuts to public sector funding expected, businesses are increasingly recognising the benefits of a not-for-profit initiative that works collaboratively with the business community. As a result, over the past six months membership of the NBCS has increased by over 50% and attracted some of the largest names in the retail sector.

The National Business Crime Solution is supported by ACPO

The National Business Crime Solution is supported by ACPO

Using closer collaboration and an evidence-based approach, the NBCS has supported a number of businesses in reducing their exposure to business crime while at the same time providing a safer environment for customers and staff.

Building a national profile of business crime

Catherine Bowen, policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS, explained: “In just six months we’ve seen significant progress. More importantly, by working in collaboration we’ve proven that we can build a national profile of business crime and actively support the police service by building watertight, cross-border cases that result in real action.”

Bowen continued: “By working with law enforcement officials we can not only ensure that cross-border, serious and organised criminals are pursued but, by working with police analysts, we can also advise businesses on criminal trends and any particular ‘hot spots’ for increased illicit activities.”

In the first half of 2014, the NBCS – ably supported by the National Business Crime Intelligence Bureau (NBCIB) – dealt with over 70 investigations exposing cross-border, serious and organised criminal groups. The body has also provided support to more than 40 national businesses across 33 police force areas resulting in 29 arrests.

Notable successes over the past six months included the NBCS working with one member business alongside cross-border authorities to halt a series of high value thefts valued at over £9,000. In just nine days, 32 recorded offences were committed across a number of force areas. By sharing information and working together, the NBCS quickly established the full nature and scale of the criminal gang’s activities, in turn leading to timely arrests and a subsequent end to the high-value crime spree.

Catherine Bowen: policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS

Catherine Bowen: policy and stakeholder director at the NBCS

Another NBCS member business suffered 11 burglaries in just two months costing the company over £22,000 in lost goods, repairs and lost trade. By working with the NBCS, a pattern of incidents was established proving they were linked and not isolated. As a result of this information being passed to the police and assisting with further case development, the authorities were able to step in and make a successful arrest.

Retailers alerted to crime trends

“Sharing information across the business sector has ensured that retailers are alerted to rising crime trends, enabling them to take preventative action,” added Bowen. “This has also meant that where there are organised crime groups in operation, information is collated and shared with the police to bring criminal activities to a timely end.”

The timing for the NBCS has never been better with major cuts to public sector funding and a greater recognition of the important role businesses can play in cutting crime leading to an increased appetite for data sharing.

“Business crime may have made it back onto the agenda,” asserted Bowen, “but the challenge now is how we keep it there. In order to continue the progress we’ve made so far, we need businesses to join us, share their data and be part of this fast-growing collaborative approach to preventing business crime.”

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-2013

Retail crime cost an estimated £511 million in 2012-2013

*The NBCS was recently awarded top spot in the Best Collaborative Solution category at the 2014 Retail Fraud Awards

*Further information on the NBCS is available by contacting Catherine Bowen via e-mail at: catherine.bowen@nationalbusinesscrimesolution.com

References

1Value of crimes prevented as recorded by a selected number of members. Full potential of savings is significantly higher than the figure quoted
2British Retail Consortium’s Annual Retail Crime Survey 2014

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ABCP and MRCI join forces to launch National Association of Business Crime Partnerships

The Association of Business Crime Partnerships has joined forces with the Midlands Regional Crime Initiative to form a new body called the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships.

Designed to tackle retail and business crime, the organisation has been established to set a new standard by which business crime might be measured and managed in town centres and to reduce the impact of such criminality on the UK’s High Streets.

Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP) spokesperson Richard Barron commented: “The ABCP and the Midlands Regional Crime Initiative (MRCI) have been supporting and accrediting business crime reduction partnerships for over ten years now. Both organisations have stood the test of time, but the moment is now right for us to join forces and become the standard-setting business crime reduction partnership support organisation in England and Wales.”

Barron added: “I’m delighted that both organisations will be sharing their resources and expertise to further raise the standards and contribution of business crime reduction partnerships in their work with partners, stakeholders and statutory agencies to reduce crime affecting businesses in our towns, cities and shopping centres.”

The new NABCP logo

The new NABCP logo

David Wilson of the MRCI explained: “We have been listening to businesses and our partners for new ideas and a fresh look with innovative solutions to reduce business crime and provide a return on investment for our members. In collaboration with business crime reduction partnerships and businesses in general, a new strategy is being established to raise standards and enable the legitimate sharing of intelligence to deter offenders and prevent crime. The National Association of Business Crime Partnerships will be the organisation through which the ABCP and the MRCI will work together to deliver the new strategy.”

Tim Edwards, chairman of the Retail Loss Prevention Fashion Forum (a collective of heads of loss prevention operational at many of the High Street’s biggest fashion brands) stated: “This development is long overdue. We’re delighted to support the establishment of a national body representing the interests of business crime partnerships and one which will set a benchmark standard of what ‘Good’ should look like. We will be working with the new organisation over the coming months to ensure that our stores and businesses have the best possible collaborative working relationship with their local business crime reduction partnerships to help reduce stock losses, protect our staff and improve the local retail environment for customers.”

Over the coming months, the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships will work collaboratively with business crime reduction partnerships and stakeholders to further raise the standards of accredited partnerships by:
• Maximising opportunities for the detection of offenders involved in retail and business crime
• Gathering and sharing intelligence on those involved in retail and business crime
• Further developing the collaborative intelligence sharing arrangement in place with the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS)
• Working with stakeholders to educate and divert offenders away from High Street crime
• More effectively meeting the needs of businesses in minimising opportunities for theft from their premises
• Ensuring business crime reduction partnerships operate to the highest possible standards of data sharing/processing in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998

*Further information on the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships is available by contacting Richard Barron via e-mail at: richard.barron@businesscrime.org.uk

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Wicklander-Zulawski expands European presence in partnership with The Cardinal Group

Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ), the US-based consulting and training company, has announced Chris Norris CFI as its director of webinar training and WZ Europe and international training.

Norris is moving to the UK on a year’s secondment to raise the profile of the brand’s unique investigative interview techniques across Europe.

With the company for almost 15 years, Norris will now be responsible for building the profile of WZ-EU training available to UK and European businesses while also identifying training professionals to help deliver WZ courses.

Speaking about his secondment to the UK, Norris said: “I’ve been fortunate to provide training to almost 800 delegates across the UK and Europe. As we see more US companies trading in the UK, so there has been a greater demand for our recognised form of interview training. We know that the loss prevention industry, for example, is recognising a need for such training to help address internal issues as well as mitigating their liabilities.”

Non-confrontational interviewing techniques

Using a structured approach to interviews, the WZ method of non-confrontational interviewing is proven to be an ideal programme for organisations wishing to adopt a non-confrontational method of resolving cases and helping to determine when an individual is being truthful.

Training courses are suitable for both private and public sector organisations, with introductory and advanced courses available for loss prevention and Human Resources (HR) professionals, security investigators, auditors and operations managers.

Norris continued: “By moving to the UK, I can help raise awareness of the benefits of our training services to UK and European businesses and respond to the growing demand for the non-confrontational interview techniques we offer. A big part of our success in Europe so far has been thanks to the support provided by The Cardinal Group, our exclusive European partners in the UK. We’re delighted to continue working with them and look forward to this new challenge.”

Jason Trigg: CEO at The Cardinal Group

Jason Trigg: CEO at The Cardinal Group

Jason Trigg, CEO of The Cardinal Group, added: “We’re proud of our exclusive European partnership with Wicklander-Zulawski to expand this proven and well-respected training method across the European market. Chris brings such a wealth of experience in the loss prevention and investigative fields that will prove invaluable to UK and European businesses looking to improve how investigations are conducted on an internal basis. We look forward to welcoming Chris to the UK this month.”

Since joining WZ in 2000, Norris has presented at several national US meetings including the National Retail Federation (NRF) and is a regular guest instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre.

He has trained thousands of HR, audit, loss prevention, security and law enforcement professionals in the art of non-confrontational interviewing, and has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies.

Norris has also provided interview training in North America and internationally, including seminars simultaneously translated into French, Spanish, German and Polish.

Norris will be based at The Cardinal Group’s Head Office in Great Chesterford, Essex.

For more information on available Wicklander-Zulawski training courses call 0845 6801796 or visit: http://www.thecardinalgroup.co.uk/brands/cardinal-academy/academy-courses/wicklander-zulawski/

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