Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to the Consumer Goods Risk Initiative about the state of security in the retail market.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions and the Consumer Goods Council are partnering to bring Retail Risk 2011 to the industry for the fourth time. The event will be held on 4 August 2011 at The Forum in Bryanston.
The good news is that in the past year, retail crime statistics decreased considerably with armed robberies decreasing 43% and burglaries reportedly dropping 26% when compared to figures from 2009. The 2010 crime figures were the lowest ever recorded by the CGCSA.
Financial losses reported by the retailers as a result of crime also decreased substantially. A financial comparison on robbery indicates a 48% drop to R10,03m from R19,36m in 2009; and on burglaries there is a 49% decrease to R10,07m from R19,97m in 2009. Financial losses incurred as a result of robberies and burglaries in 2008 were R20,72m and R16,0m respectively.
Although violent crimes have declined, there is a reported increase in ATM bombings as well as bombings of safes during burglaries. The perpetrators are organised, experienced and ruthless. Commercial crime such as fraud including credit card and ID theft is also expected to increase. Increases in electronic crimes have also been reported, this includes phishing scams.
A concern is that the national increase in prices and more specifically the petrol price, may result in the motivation behind theft changing from greed to need as communities are not able to satisfy their basic needs for survival.
“Preventing crime in retail stores and shopping centres is not only about arresting the perpetrators, but also relies on removing the opportunity for crime. This implies learning from the mistakes and successes of others,” says the head of the Consumer Goods Risk Initiative (CGRI), James Oosthuizen. “To this end the CGRI has developed a set of best practices it distributes to member companies and that it believes contributed to the decline in reported serious crime.”
Oosthuizen was appointed as the head of the Consumer Goods Risk Initiative (CGRI) on 1 September 2010. After a successful career of 35 years in the SAPS. He joined the CGCSA as manager of Crime Prevention Strategies and is leading the business unit in the expansion of its service offerings as it gains more prominence in the industry.
As part of the expansion, the Jewellery Council joined the CGRI in October 2010 as a result of the continued victimisation of jewellery retailers. Its primary objective is to ensure the safety of staff and customers, as well as the mitigation of the impact of crime.
Selma Black, manager, Member Services for the CGRI says that in the year ahead, the organisation will be continuing to expand its footprint as well as its service offerings, while improving the execution of its deliverables to members. Moreover, a system upgrade is currently under way that will enhance the organisation’s reporting and analysis capabilities significantly.
Retail Risk 2011
Black adds that one of the primary goals of the CGRI is information sharing and the Retail Risk conference provides the ideal platform to raise awareness among a wider audience. Retail Risk attendees include a broad range of retail- oriented professionals, from retail, forecourt and distribution business owners and managers, to retail and distribution security/risk managers, as well as security professionals that offer services to the retail and distribution sector.
This conference also paves the way to establish new and expand existing business network relationships. Attendees, presenters and organisers can draw on experience and expertise from relevant industries on how new challenges faced by the industry can best be dealt with.
“Retail Risk sets the perfect scene for the bigger picture, where not only the impact and consequences of crime can be identified and evaluated, but also where solutions and practical applications for business can be explored,” Black concludes.
For more information, www.retailrisk.co.za
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