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Shopwatch
Be savvy, stay safe

It is a well-known fact that we have less police officers on our streets and in our neighbourhoods nowadays and certain types of crime have seen an increase in recent times. Deployment of available police resources are generally decided by the level of Harm, Threat and Risk within any given situation. This can be a frustration to some retailers when there are no police offers available immediately to assist.

However, there are still a lot of things retailers can do help themselves, such as; reducing the ‘opportunity’, for offenders to dash and grab items as well as staff engaging in deliberate customer service techniques.

Some of the most effective ways to reduce theft or fraudulent activity is by being an active Shopwatch member, attend the monthly security meeting, share intelligence, upload offenders to the database(DISC) and utilise the radio to talk to other stores or with CCTV operators. We also offer loss prevention awareness training as part of the membership.

Click “here” to explore what else we can offer you as part of your membership.

Here are 2 case studies which demonstrate great use of the crime prevention tools and working together to reduce crime;

Case Study A

An incident was reported via our secure online portal (DISC) that a number of individuals had attempted to purchase a low value item of stock with high denominations of counterfeit notes. The reporting member was aware they had been approaching other stores in the city, so an alert was sent out to all members via DISC.

The following day the same individuals were seen entering another store and because the manager of that store had seen the DISC alert, they contacted the police straight away. The individuals were arrested by the Police and on arrest the individuals had large volumes of counterfeit notes in their possession.

This shows that by members sharing intelligence and utilising DISC to alert other members, that positive action will be taken by Police, arrests will be made, counterfeit notes taken out of circulation and also preventing further loss to other businesses in the city.

Case Study B

A male entered a store and tried on a Rolex Watch. He was communicating with someone outside who was pretending to look at the displays in the window. Their behaviour was noticed by a security guard who contacted the CCTV operators (BV) to inform them. BV contacted the store manager to share recent information of this suspicious male and as a result he was refused service. The male and the person outside then left the area and headed to another jewellery store who was also a member of shopwatch. Their descriptions were shared over the shopwatch radio and another shopwatch member had recognised who the males were and informed all members they were wanted for high value thefts. Two additional shopwatch members shared the males direction of travel and further vital intelligence by describing their behaviour and activity throughout. This information was being relayed to the police.

By working together with BV, a police unit was deployed and the males were arrested. They were wanted for £45K worth of jewellery thefts from multiple stores across the South East. The acute observation and active participation amongst the 4 shopwatch members enabled the positive outcome of their arrest. Their actions prevented further thefts taking place in Oxford and they have also helped to bring two prolific jewellery thieves to justice.

We currently have over 120 members across the scheme. They are located in the City Centre as well as in Summertown and Cowley Road. Stores range from Independent Traders to Major High Street chains.