klkla wrote: ↑October 23rd, 2020, 7:24 pm
When detaining someone for shoplifting you are going to get an ID. If not you will hold them until the police do show up no matter how long that takes. They might come quicker if you explain that the person seems agitated and you're afraid they might become violent. It's also a good idea to explain that you might be willing to let them go if they confess to everything they have done and sign an affidavit that can be sent to the insurance company.
You would be surprised what good LP employees can do. In one of your earlier posts you alluded to the fact that a lot of companies simply don't want to pay for their own LP anymore. They want to make the local police their defacto LP and deflect the charges to the tax payer.
I am talking when you target someone for shoplifting but opt not to detain them. Rather you let them go without saying a word to them, and build a case on them over time if they come back. This is what the facial recognition allows for. For stores that have cameras all over that actually record, if they suspect theft but did not see the theft take place, they can literally go back in the camera system and re-play the tapes and try to re-trace the customer's steps through the store to prove theft took place after the fact. This is what sophisticated retailers have done in lieu of having LP agents sitting in a dark room watching live cameras and getting ready to pounce on a shoplifter as they run out the door.
It is really tough to physically detain someone. Absolutely not something normal store employees or management should be expected to do under any circumstances.
I know full well what good LP employees can do under the old "rough" watch and chase process, especially if they can work in a team (one on camera, one on the floor following the thief). I worked with one in the past who was an ex-police officer who made catches all the time but my favorite was a time when he chased a shoplifter who was a frequent visitor but was really good at playing games to stop from being detained (dropping items next to the exit as they were about to detain him, etc.) 1/2 mile from the store, was on the phone with us as he was doing the chase, and had us back at the store call the police to follow them. That was a long time ago and the police knew us and actually responded. I always wondered if the chase off property was within policy but nothing happened to the LP agent after and he worked there after I left.
Going back to my experience with the watch and chase process, then looking at how more sophisticated loss prevention departments target (no pun intended at all) repeat offenders and keep letting them shoplift without approaching them but building a case and then press charges on them when they least expect it, with zero physical contact at the store, no customers watching someone getting detained as they go in/out of the store, no danger to the employees of a risk of a shoplifter pulling a weapon on an employee during the detention process, no waiting for the police to come or not come, this is why I am so positive on the whole facial recognition thing.
But it is tough for a small store like a Walgreens to have such a sophisticated system in place.
I also agree stores should not rely on the local police to be defacto LP. That is another beauty of the facial recognition - you don't call the police physically to the store. You go straight to filing a police report and the police will go straight to the shoplifter's place of residence or court papers will be delivered to the shoplifter.
I have also worked in high theft environments where there was a "no chase" policy, no LP in the store, but certain employees/managers took it into their own hands to go chase shoplifters anyway. Until there is a lawsuit, nothing happens to stop it. I was never interested in chasing anyone, since policy says don't chase, that is the policy I will stand behind as it keeps me safe. Or where a security guard is hired to stand by the front door to deter theft. None of that worked- empty packages all the time all over the place. Eventually after I moved on, numerous locking shelves were installed to the point where you couldn't get much of anything off the shelves. That was sloppy because someone wanted something out of a locking shelf and the employee would go and unlock the shelf and give it to the customer. Then the employee went back to whatever task they were doing. That was a joke and still resulted in many empty packages from what I was told, plus resulted in many upset paying customers due to wait times to unlock the shelves. No facial recognition software there. Would have been great.
So this is the problem when you have 9,000 stores like Walgreens has. Many, the majority of, locations have little to no theft problem. There are probably less than 300 high theft locations in the entire chain. You can pay for robust software and camera programs for theft prevention, you can try security guards, locking stuff up, etc. but when the majority of your stores don't have a problem it is hard to spend much money I guess.
Sounds like a repeat of the factors in the 80's where so many grocery chains abandoned poorer neighborhoods due to high theft... easier to go operate in the suburbs in better neighborhoods that do not have so many issues; by the mid 90's you had all these "food deserts" all over the country... it seems many chains prefer to just flat out not operate in these types of high theft environments for the sake of their image, safety of their employees, and perception from customers.