In recent years the business community, retail in particular, has experienced a range of new threats with the prevention of violence against shopworkers now becoming the top priority for many retailers. The sector has invested heavily in technology and security to prevent crime, and the police continue to work in partnership to support retail crime reduction.
Branded as ‘Safer Business Action Week’, the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) have run their second national awareness week from Monday 16th October to focus on business crime and support local businesses, their staff, and highlight the important role that businesses play in supporting local communities.
Carlisle Support Services is pleased to have had a large presence in Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke, flooding the city centres to provide extra support and reassurance to the Tesco retail stores we work with. Supported by Tesco Incident Prevention Managers (IPM), Regional Shrink & Security Partner (RSSP) and Culture and Capability Partners, the team put on a show of support for all the stores.
We had 10 mobile officers, 3 operations managers and our Regional Contract Manager on the ground to support. The team visited every store and responded to a variety of incidents that popped up showing how valuable a mobile security team can be. The team worked with the Police and BID who distributed intel packs of people they wanted to arrest on the night. A few of these were identified in our stores and reported to the police through the BID radio – showing real joined up working. As a result, Tesco will be looking to invest in more BID radios in Liverpool to further enhance security operations.
Carl Mcguire, the RSSP for the north, was very pleased to see how professional our mobile team is. As his first time in the field with Carlisle, he complimented the approach from MSTs Jed Ward and Paul Brayshaw who approach their roles with real focus on coaching and educating guards and Tesco staff in their roles.
Each day culminated in a debrief with the respective Area Managers to elaborate on how security operations could be further enhanced, particularly taking into consideration the recent findings from The British Retail Consortium. They recently revealed that the total cost of retail crime stood at 1.76 billion in 2021/22, £953 million of which was lost to customer theft with eight million incidents recorded over the year. In addition, within the same period they reported:
- 8 million incidents of customer theft, suggesting only about 5% is reported to police
- 867 incidents a day of violence and abuse aimed at staff
- 116 incidents a day of violence without injury
Overall, the week presented a great opportunity to further enhance operations and establish stronger relationships with the police whilst offering them the opportunity to engage with businesses, better understand their issues and work in collaboration to develop long term solutions.