When the holiday seasons come, retailers are very excited and enthusiastic about the sales they are going to make, and so they stock up in advance to prepare for the holiday rush of customers who will buy gifts for their loved ones. Of course, that is a good thing for the retailers. However, there is also something that bothers them during the holiday season, and that is, the likely possibilities of shoplifting and even employee theft.
Most of us are very familiar with the scenarios of malls and shops during the holiday season. Extremely crowded aisles, people rushing everywhere, the frenzy over newly launched games, electronics, toys, and the all-too-familiar reports of children being separated from their parents. As genuine customers who pay for what we buy, we tend to get annoyed by such things when we are doing our holiday shopping. However, for a typical shoplifter, it’s a very tempting opportunity.
Both small boutique shops and huge chain shops are always on the lookout to fight theft with the help of technology. However, when sales decrease and the profits come down, this drives store managers to depend on the ROI as their means to pay for any new tools for improvement in a store. Investing in a security camera system is indeed a great option, but how well do they work in combating against shoplifting and theft?
Are Traditional Security Cameras Really Efficient in Capturing “Customers/Shoplifters” in the Act? Answer: Yes and No.
Why Yes? – Of course, initially, it is difficult to distinguish a person to be a customer when they are caught stealing. You have to remember that a customer/shoplifter is not really a professional thief. They are, in reality, ordinary people who normally pay for most of the things they purchase, but when presented with the chance to shoplift, they will do so. Also, these people usually do not enter shops with the initial plan to steal stuff.
In other words, normally-paying customers are tempted to shoplift when a certain desire for an item is met with the right opportunity. When you consider this, anything that gets rid of that feeling of opportunity from potential shoplifters will most definitely be effective. One of the most effective and well-known tools that remove that feeling of opportunity is a set of security cameras that are installed in such a way that they are plainly seen in the premises by everyone, especially those who are “customers/shoplifters”.
Why No? – Just like any other device or tool that is used to get rid of the feeling of opportunity to shoplift, security cameras have to be present all throughout the entire shop. Shops that are on a stricter budget will normally just install a couple of security cameras to areas where the expensive items are placed or those items that are smaller and very easy to steal. However, a problem with this is that shoplifters have developed their own strategies and techniques on how to counter these security cameras. One simple way for them is that they just carry the items somewhere in the shop where the security cameras cannot clearly see or record their actions, and that is the moment that they will hide the item they want to shoplift. In most corporate protocols as well as in most areas in the United States, one known requirement for detaining a customer who is suspected of shoplifting is to have a video footage of them actually hiding or stealing an item.
Thanks to today’s advanced technology, modern security cameras are now more affordable and they are also much easier to set up and install. There are even some video surveillance companies that sell equipment and even offer discounts when they buy by packages or volumes. This is truly very beneficial for a lot of shops that need to cover a lot of ground, and with just a small amount of investment, with today’s technological advancements and affordable prices, it will totally be worth it.
If your main goal is to deter shoplifting by means of letting everyone know that you have security cameras present in your shop, then you need to have security cameras that are large enough for everyone to see clearly – and this is a surefire way to tell your customers that they are really being watched.
Are Traditional Security Cameras Really Efficient in Capturing Employees who Steal? Answer: Yes and No.
Why No? – Many people are surprised when they learned that conventional security cameras are not very efficient in capturing employees who steal items in the store where they work. Statistics show that over the past 4 years, employee theft represents 44% to 47% of all retail losses. It is ironic that at these times, there are actually a lot more security cameras present in stores than ever before! Why is this so? Employees who are planning to steal typically have the advantage of knowing where the security cameras are located and where they are not present. Unlike the customers, the employees also have enough time to remember the whole perimeter of the store, they are aware where the security tags are placed, they have the knowledge of procedures inside the store, and of course, they have more time to muster up their confidence and actually do the bad deed. Employees who aim to steal know exactly when and where to do it.
Why Yes? – Conventional security cameras normally just tend to push employees around the store rather than to catch them or deter their bad actions. However, when it is suspected that one or more of the employees of a store are stealing items, then installing covert/hidden security cameras in areas where conventional security cameras are not installed is one of the best ways on how to combat this problem.
Some important areas where covert/hidden security cameras can be ideally placed are in dumpsters, loading docks, storage areas, back doors, escape exits, and even cash registers where employees mostly carry out theft with relatives and friends.
Covert or hidden security cameras are available in the market and they have casings that make them appear just like any other item such as smoke detectors, electronics, stuff toys, and even wall clocks. If you would like to have custom-made hidden security cameras, then you can ask security companies that offer fabrication services to make you casings for your hidden security cameras to blend perfectly well in its specific surroundings.
to be continued on Using Traditional Security Cameras and Surveillance Systems – Are They Really Efficient in Preventing Shoplifting? part 2.