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EDITOR’S CHOICE

Assault of shop workers to be made specific criminal offence

Assaulting a shop worker will be made a separate criminal offence in England and Wales as part of a government response to a wave of retail crime…

Earlier this year a report found violent and abusive incidents against shop workers rose by 50% in 2022-23.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said shops must be free from the threat of crime or abuse.

The Government previously told campaigners for a new law it was not needed and would not be effective.

Now the Government says it is concerned about an increase in attacks…

The Prime Minister said the new law was about “sending a message” to criminals stealing from local businesses or abusing shop workers that “enough is enough.”

Helen Dickinson, Chair of the British Retail Consortium, welcomed the announcement, saying “the voices of the three million people working in retail are finally being heard”.

The new offence will carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison. Perpetrators could also receive an unlimited fine and be banned from the shop where they committed the offence.

Serial offenders could be forced to wear tags, so that their movements can be tracked. And £50M will be spent on facial recognition technology.

Dedicated facial recognition units will be used in high streets to catch perpetrators and prevent shoplifting. Police have been told to check more CCTV images against police databases. 

In more serious cases, offenders found guilty of grievous bodily harm will face jail sentences. However, anyone convicted of the new offence would not routinely go to prison, due to a shortage of places.

The Sentencing Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, would mean that prison sentences of 12 months or less would be suspended and served in the community, although a custodial sentence could be imposed in exceptional circumstances.

For the full story go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-68773704

GUEST ARTICLE BY MATT GILMARTIN

Who else has fallen victim to the invisible sock monster?

From rubbish collections to risk management conventions, our writer reflects on a world gone mad…

Is it an age thing? Maybe so.

But, as I get older, I increasingly find ‘madness’ around every corner in the world.

I’m not talking about the big things. It is the little things. The incongruous that I find incredulous…

For example, why are all refuse collection lorries called “Dennis”?

Where does the sock monster live? Our tumble dryer has one. I have checked behind, under and above it. Cleared the filter. Practically rewired the damn thing in my quest to solve the mystery. And yet still the sock monster gets my socks and eats them. But it is a sealed, self-contained unit! How is that possible. And why does he only ever eat one sock from each pair?

These are the sorts of things that bother me..!

There’s a bloke living in my house. And when I find him… I’m going to kill him! He’s called “Somebody,” and is at the centre of every misstep in my domestic life…

Who spilt red wine on the white sofa. Was it you?”
 
“No!”
 
“Well, it must have been Somebody…”

You see! “Somebody” deserves all he gets!

Who thought it was necessary to write the instruction on the back of the seat in front of you in an aircraft, “Fasten seat belt whilst seated”? As if it is even possible to fasten it whilst you are standing up!

And I saw a sign at a local beautician’s the other day “Ears pierced while you wait.” Like I could drop my ears off and go back to collect them the following day, when I was passing! “Sorry! What did you say? I can’t hear you. I have left me ears to be pierced!”

Given the Nation’s obsession with the weather, why do we not have a league table for weather forecasters? Everything else in life is subject to KPIs. Yet Tomasz Shafernaker can get it totally wrong on the BBC Weather, week after week, without consequences! How can that be right? At a minimum, Which? should conduct a survey!

The other day I was looking on Marketplace for a mirror for my daughter’s room. Keen on upcycling, we are saving the planet one remodelled room at a time! I saw an ad for a previously owned mirror. It said “Mirror for sale. Hardly used!” I thought “How do I know you are not lying… you might have been looking at your reflection in it every day and now just pretending you didn’t, to get more money. Sort of ‘clocking’ for reflective surfaces!

Philosophers have asked “If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is there to hear it fall, does it make a sound! Dur… Yeah! There is just nobody to hear it!

Recently I was in Cape Town with the Retail Risk conference. There I met someone in the petrol forecourt security business. Our conversation turned to using fog canons to prevent theft. Turns out that they had a massive problem in South Africa, with one petrol station being dynamited by thieves (yes that’s right, DYNAMITED, in a high octane area) EVERY DAY!

In conversation about one forecourt retailer, it transpired that they had installed four fog canons in their worst four petrol stations – ‘worst’ from the point of view of being frequently targeted by thieves. I asked how the trial was going. The answer was that it was too early to say… since they had not had any break-ins since installing them, which was ‘disappointing.’ I was lost for words!

And that brings me to the greatest professional mystery of all…

Why is it that retailers, in an attempt to secure their premises, first fit an alarm. Then when that does not work, they add CCTV. Then when that doesn’t work, they add a monitoring station to the alarm and CCTV. And then as a last gasp attempt to stop theft they add fog canons… and the thefts stop. Why oh why do they not simply fit the fog canon first!?!

And if you doubt my claim, just take a look at the case study, featured here on our LinkedIn feed, from Dave Pardoe of the Works. Then perhaps you too will wonder if you should take a second look at fog. click HERE…

Lots has changed in the years since smoke was first introduced to protect bank notes and collection boxes.

Today, with fog, retailers have many more options and far more sophisticated solutions available to them. Fog can make a huge difference, with minimal disruption and at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. We even have mobile units that can be RENTED and shipped to troublesome stores – deployed in just hours – that have been shown to stop theft dead in its tracks.

Why doesn’t every retailer try this out?

You tell me…

Smoke Screen will be exhibiting at Retail Risk – London. For more details and to register click HERE…

Matt Gilmartin
Managing Director
Concept Smoke Screen

www.smoke-screen.com

PRESS RELEASE

New executive takes the helm of Trellidor UK

“We are able to draw on our experiences of defeating crime in South Africa to good effect in the UK…”

Trellidor have appointed a new Managing Director for their UK business, following the departure of Mark Hamilton-Payne at the end of last year.

William Waller is a seasoned veteran of commerce, with more than 20 years of experiences working in industry.

Coincidentally Trellidor has been established in the UK for some 20 years. Despite its longevity on these shores, many retailers would tell you that,  until relatively recently, they were unfamiliar with their products – even those that had been using them for years!

However, the company’s profile has been significantly raised over the last three years as it has drawn on its South African heritage, where Trellidor eclipses any other brand in the sector, to bring a range of innovative security shutter, grilles and barrier solutions to the UK.

Mr Waller commented:

“Trellidor already has a good reputation for having a great product and delivering it through a terrific service offering.
 
As manufacturers of our products, not only do we understand their capabilities from the raw materials upwards but also, we are able to react faster and more precisely to a customers’ specific needs.
 
And that is the really exciting part, because it means that we can react in hours to events where others take days or even weeks to respond. And we can develop solutions to precisely meet the evolving challenges our customers face, because our ability to provide solutions is not constrained by standard models or what has gone before… we have no barriers to innovation as demonstrated by the development of a shutter that can double as massive video screen.
 
In South Africa businesses have to deal with a particularly ruthless criminal threat. We are able to draw on our experiences in defeating crime there to good effect in the UK”

Trellidor shutters received much acclaim last year as they used their engineering expertise to defeat a wave of attacks on retail warehouses where thieves used industrial angle grinders to cut through steel doors. Using a patented design, Trellidor doors significantly slowed down such attacks, either leading the perpetrators to give up and flee, or providing more time for the Authorities to act.

Demonstrating their versatility, last year Trellidor produced a range of portable barriers that allows retailers to quickly and easily close off/secure areas of their business on a temporary basis. These barriers have proven very useful to retailers in a multitude of scenario and have been a big hit with risk directors and operational directors alike.

For more information on Trellidor’s world class security solutions, go to https://trellidor.co.uk/

Trellidor will be exhibiting at Retail Risk – London. For more details and to register click HERE…

GUEST ARTICLE BY DAN HARDY

My New Zealand adventure now paves the way for new challenges

Recently-appointed ASEL Group MD, Dan Hardy, reflects on the trip of a lifetime – and what lies ahead…

My New Zealand adventure now paves the way for new challenges

Recently-appointed ASEL Group MD, Dan Hardy, reflects on the trip of a lifetime – and what lies ahead…

What an incredible few weeks it’s been!

If you read my article last week, you’ll know I’m currently enjoying an action-packed holiday in New Zealand with my wife and cricket-mad daughter Martha.

I’ll admit I’ve grown rather fond of our trusty campervan, which has been our home now for the last three weeks (we’ve even nicknamed her “Vaneo!”). It’s been the perfect way to take in the stunning New Zealand landscape, whilst following the England women’s cricket team on their New Zealand tour.

Yesterday we watched them play the final match of the tour at Seddon Park, Hamilton. It was a bit of a nail-biter, and England ultimately lost by 7 wickets. So not quite the fairytale ending we’d hoped for but, with two victories already under their belt, our ladies still clinched the ODI series. They’d already claimed the T20s 4-1 and (as Martha was quick to inform me!) are now third in the world rankings. Fan…tastic!

But of course, it wasn’t really just about the result. Enabling Martha to pursue her passion and be inspired by so many great sporting role models was better than any victory. I’m pretty sure that walking out with the England Captain, Heather Knight, to rapturous applause in Wellington will be a memory she’ll cherish forever.

With the England cricket tour now over, I’m looking forward to enjoying the last days of our trip. The plan is to travel north to Coromandel, before making our way to Auckland for the final few days. I’ve heard Auckland is epic so there’s still plenty to enjoy.

However, as I write my thoughts are turning to home and work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving every minute of this adventure And spending quality time with my family has been amazing. But I’m also excited about what lies ahead when I touchdown back in the UK…

First, I think we’re all keen to be reunited with our much-loved family dog, Izzy. My parents have been sending regular updates whilst we’ve been away. But there’s nothing like an effervescent, space-invading spaniel greeting you in person!

Second, when it comes to work, I’ll be hitting the ground running…

I had only recently taken over as ASEL Group MD when I jumped on the plane to New Zealand (the holiday had been booked for a while, I hasten to add!). So, as you can probably imagine, there’s lots to do and plenty of challenges to sink my teeth into when I get back. And I can’t wait. There’ll be no end-of-holiday, Monday morning blues here!

Some of the first orders of business will be to visit our newly transferred colleagues with two new customers, gain updates on areas of business improvement and practice our excellent presentation for Retail Risk – London, which we’re looking forward to making on the 18th of April.

I’ll be speaking on the main stage alongside my colleague, Hannah Powell, about ASEL’s latest risk model and its massive evolution from earlier models.

Hannah and her team are experts in their field, aiding our customers’ understanding of hybrid risk outputs and enabling investment in the right areas by analysing multi-faceted risk drivers.

If you’re attending Retail Risk – London, come and say “Hi!” I promise not to bore you with my many, many photos of New Zealand. Or talk endlessly about cricket for that matter… Unless you ask, of course!

ASEL will be supporting Retail Risk – London ’24. For more information and to register, click HERE…

Dan Hardy
Managing Director
ASEL

www.asel.co.uk

GUEST ARTICLE BY TIM MOORE

You can have any colour… so long as it is black!

As Ford chalks ups its 121st year in business, mass produced approaches to an LP problem are as out of place today as Ford’s original Model T colour offering would be in a modern car showroom…

Henry Ford is immortalised as the man who brought the benefits of mass produced motor cars to the world.

Introduced in 1908, Ford wanted the Model T to be simple to operate, affordable and durable.

The mass produced vehicle changed the course of human history forever. By the early 1920s more than half of the registered automobiles in the world were Fords. More than 15,000,000 Model Ts were built and sold.

Of course, mass production by definition, is about homogeneity. Standardisation. One size fits all. The world then was not as it is now, one of choice.

Epitomising this approach, Ford himself quipped that, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants… So long as it is black.” All Model T Fords, the first successfully mass produced car in the USA, came in the same funerial colour until 1925, just two years before it was discontinued. No variation. No choice. And that was fine… then.

Ford talked about the financial battles he fought early on to keep his business afloat. He once said that “there were times when the seat of my pants (“trousers” Ed) was so thin, that if I sat on a nickel, I could tell you whether it was facing up heads or tails!”

Ford understood value, and the need to strike a balance between repetitive design choices that brought economies of scale that could be passed on to customers, and the need to provide value by responding to customers’ needs – after all the Model T had revolutionised the car industry with its innovative design.

At that got me thinking about our own approach to LP solutions…

As I write, physical shrink is off the charts. Once shrink would be featured at the bottom of Board Room agendas, if at all. Now it is nearly always item 1 or 2! So, the senior management are inevitably looking at the welfare of the whole business. And suppliers must evolve, so that they can meet that need…

Recently we have saved a customer a great deal of time and money by ‘right – sizing’ their approach to a high loss category, Beers, Wine and Spirits. This is a great example of coupling mass produced economies of scale with a bespoke approach to a business’ challenges in order to produce a superior result.

The business in question was physically tagging these high value items. The hard tags applied were comparatively expensive, time consuming to apply and created shelf shortages. We took an alternative approach…

By using a tagged at source RF label the retailer no longer had to physically tag the product itself instore. Whilst arguably the level of security afforded to these products was lowered, it did not result in an increase in shrink. So, the retailer was getting the same shrink results, but gaining by not having to perform 7.5 million actions every year to tag stock.

Other benefits included more staff time replenishing shelves – so an increase in sales – less logistical input as no tags to had to be procured, shipped or distributed to stores. Also processes staff were required to do were simplified removing the traditional Tag, Detach and Recirculate in store process. This also enhanced the customer experience with a frictionless journey through self checkouts. These factors in turn led to an increase in on shelf availability, which in turn helped sales – people can’t buy what they do not see in stock!

By taking a holistic view, utilising the cost effective nature of our labels compared to tags coupled with a bespoke approach to finding value in the customer’s business, the project saved money on tagging. But the bigger gains were in massive savings in labour costs across departments, increased on shelf availability and an uplift in sales. Plus tagging compliance went up, to 100%.

In summary we delivered sales growth, increased on shelf availability and simplified processes that all delivered benefits to the business.

At Retail Risk – London we are running a round table about how LP is no longer the ‘sales prevention’ department. We are talking about benefits that can be realised on an inter-departmental basis.

Yes, the focus is loss. However, by adopting a holistic approach to bringing benefits to the whole business, rather than specific focus on the LP department and its key targets, then the business wins bigger, including the LP department.

It is this approach of adding value to other parts of the organisation beyond LP, that will ensure LP can enjoy the benefits of not being seen as the necessary evil which is the key for success going forward.

Please do come and join us…

All-Tag will be supporting Retail Risk – London ’24. For more information and to register click HERE…

Tim Moore
Managing Director
All-Tag Europe

www.all-tag.com

The Retail Risk Podcast – sponsored by All-Tag

Paul Bessant talks to…

Paul Barnard, Senior Advisor – Investigations at Pinkerton

To access this interview click HERE

GUEST ARTICLE BY FRANK HAVELKA

Facial Recognition technology is far more than just spotting the bad guys and sounding the alarm

From protecting sports fans to allowing people to live full lives, FRT has more to offer than you may have thought…

The UEFA Champions League is something else.

Featuring the best of the best from around Europe, the football is breathtaking in its speed and skill.

That’s why football fans around the world are enthralled by it and anticipation builds as we reach the prospect of the final. And that is exactly why a terrorist group recently decided to target the competition with threats to the safety of all participating…

Unfortunately, there are many threats to our sporting life these days. Not just from international terror groups, but also from regional ORC and crime syndicates down to a handful of thugs looking for trouble. Even individuals, banned from the games for some reason, pose a threat to fans just looking to have a good time.

Then add on the threats posed by targeting of events by protestors, disruptive governments and even just overzealous fans, not just in football but in all the big sports, and suddenly from a security perspective there is a threat around every corner…

In Australia I have been involved in the introduction of facial recognition technology (“FRT”) in a number of bid stadiums. The impact has been enormous. And there are a lot of advantages in the arena of sports that will doubtless find there way into shops and shopping malls in the coming months.

FRT has the capacity to scan a hundred faces in a millisecond. A guard, steward or marshal does not have that ability. What’s more, those excluded from a venue may try to disguise themselves in order to obtain entry. They might obscure their face or change the colours of the features to hide their identity. That can fool a guard, but not FRT…

As FRT technology works on a “faceprint” consisting of metadata (sequences of 0s and 1s that allow a computer to match a face to the characteristics, but which are totally meaningless to an individual and useless to anyone trying to reconstruct an image – even using a computer). Basically, that is a thousand measurements of a person’ face, which do not change over time.

So, persons of interest can dye their hair, grow a beard or wear a hood low over their head. None of that will fool the best FRT because of the way the systems work in what is known as the ‘wild case scenario.’

But with FRT we tend to focus on the negative situations that it can alert security services to. Spotting the bad guy. However, at Vix we have an established history now of doing the things that allow people to get more form life, not just spotting bad guys…

We made the news recently by finding a missing child.

It is every parent’s nightmare. They are with their kid in a crowded space, turn their back for just a moment and when they look around their child is missing.  In this case the parent sent a text to the malls CCTV monitoring with a picture of the child. In seconds, the FRT had swept all of the real time images as well as the recorded data from the last 20 minutes and tracked and found the juvenile. Mother and daughter were safely reunited. What a great asset for any mall or large store to offer families.

And it is not just young kids. Aged relatives can wander off unexpectedly, phones turned off no idea where they are going. They need to be found too!

Talking of the elderly, we have also helped senior citizens lead fuller lives but using FRT to safeguard them in large buildings and spaces. Anyone who has experienced the effects of dementia will appreciate what a horrible disease it can be. Not only does it rob people of their reasoning but also of their memories. So, they become a danger to themselves simply because they forget where they are or where they are going. As a result, able bodied dementia sufferers lose their personal freedom, because they become dangers to themselves.

However, using FRT we have managed to set parameters within which dementia sufferers can enjoy personal freedom, but their loved ones and carers are safe in the knowledge that if they wander beyond certain parameters of a building or care home then FRT will be used to alert the carers so that they can recover the situation. This means that the simple freedom we all take for granted to move around a building or gardens visiting people continues to be available to them.

In terms of personal freedom, we have also been involved with government initiatives to prevent people from addictive personalities gambling or drinking. The self-exclusion initiatives mean that people who know they have a problem in the face of temptation can register themselves to be excluded form certain parts of a leisure complex. Those areas are usually bars or betting offices. In effect that allows them to enjoy the freedom to meet at these complexes with friends, knowing that should they give in to temptation FRT will alert the venue and support will be provided.

The ways in which FRT can be deployed to protect people from harm are expanding of the time. We often focus on that power within the context of crime. And of course, FRT has a great deal to offer in that regard. However, FRT can also be used to help people enjoy better quality of life, enjoy frictionless customer experience and to mitigate the threats to their wellbeing just found in everyday life.

Vix Vizion will be supporting Retail Risk – London ’24. For more information and to register click HERE…

Frank Havelka
Business Development Manager
Vix Vizion

www.vixvizion.com

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Tesco says price pressures easing as profits soar

The company has said that price pressures on grocers have eased, as it reported bumper sales and profits for the past year…

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain said pre-tax profits hit £2.3bn, up from £882m, while sales rose by 4.4% to £68.2bn in the year to 24 February.

The company said price inflation in groceries had “lessened substantially.”

However, its boss Ken Murphy, said the firm was conscious “things were still difficult for many customers.”

Tesco had “worked hard” to cut prices, he said, and “doubled down” on schemes aimed at offering shoppers better value for money, such as its Aldi Price Match offer and Clubcard promotions.

More than 4,000 products were cheaper at the end of the year than at the start, with an average price cut of about 12%, the firm said.
Mr Murphy said he expected food inflation – which measures the rate at which food prices rise over time – to stabilise in the “low single digits for the rest of the year”.

Tesco is the UK’s biggest supermarket chain with more than 330,000 employees and a 27.3% share of the grocery market, which Mr Murphy said was growing as customers “respond to the improvements we’ve made to the value and quality of our products.”
 
For the full story go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-68776913

NEWS ARCHIVE

GUEST ARTICLE

Churchill, chalk boards and me!

“The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself”

Sir Winston Churchill…

It was a real ‘pinch yourself’ moment.

There I stood, in the iconic Churchill War Rooms – the building from where the British Government directed its forces during the Second World War.

The day was not just going to be memorable for the venue. More than that. I was preparing to give my first thought leadership address as ASEL Group Managing Director… Just a few days in post, it had been a sudden and unexpected whirlwind of activity that brought me to this place.

To fill my predecessor’s departure from Argentbright Security Europe Ltd, I had been approached and spent much time contemplating the role of Group Managing Director!

At the time, I was Global Head of Security for TUI; bestriding the globe making decisions that would affect millions of tourists.

Consulting with governments, conferring with local and international security services and armed forces, I worked at the highest levels to meet the tourism challenges thrown up by Ukraine and the Middle East, not to mention the myriad of other regions with potential bear traps for tourists.

Responsible for a massive estate incorporating everything from hotels and planes to buses and cruise ships, it had to be one of the best jobs in risk management. Why would I change? I had, after all, only left 18 months ago!

But Frank Argentbright is a persuasive man. After all, you don’t build a multi-billion dollar security company from scratch without a talent for persuasion! He and his team managed every concern with pace. With apologies, he “will never surrender!” And so, it began.

Frank and his team launched a recruitment offensive. They met with me to explain what they wanted, where they were heading and how they wanted me on the journey. They got my wife and daughter on board. Hell! Even Izzy, my spaniel, soon greeted them like old friends instead of barking ferociously and jumping all over them!

And once I fully understood the seismic shift they had planned for the provision of security in the UK and Europe,I knew I had to be a part of it. A grand finale to my longer-than-I-care-to-remember career. A fitting end, before someone shoves this old geezer through the door and I feel the thwack of it as it hits me in the back, on my way to a quieter life of wine, food and amateur sports coaching!

Now, here where one great leader had once inspired his team, it was my chance to inspire mine. Different enemy. Different times. Same goal… to win.

Surrounded by memorabilia curated from Britain’s finest hour, I felt the weight of history upon me, adding to my pre-presentation nerves. But then it dawned on me. Where better to motivate people to drive change than the very place where Churchill plotted Britain’s path to victory?

With the formalities out of the way, I asked team members to reflect on their own achievements. As I studied the room and mulled over the various success stories, I realised just how far we’ve come – as an industry and as a society.

Here we were, talking about how to manage crime with facial recognition and biometrics, when Churchill won WW2 in the room next door with little more than a chalk board and a map!

Today, I do not even own a chalk board. However, I do have an impressive suite of data that can tell me, in real-time, what’s happening in 3,000 locations, what resources are being used and, critically, will be needed.

Since taking over as MD, I have begun a mission to make ASEL a people-centric organisation. For me that means understanding my team and inspiring them to be the best they can be. I want to encourage a culture where bold decisions are valued and where we embrace and learn from all outcomes, whether successful or not.

The fate of the nation might not be in my hands, but my experience in the Churchill War Rooms was a stark reminder of the power of people being mobilised to action in times of change.

I’m no Churchill, but I’d like to think my team and I share the same indomitable spirit as those who helped us secure that unlikely victory all those years ago.

Dan Hardy is Managing Director of ASEL

ASEL will be exhibiting at Retail Risk – London. For details and to register click HERE…

GUEST ARTICLE

What will senior retailers be asking Chris Philp behind closed doors at Retail Risk – London this April?

Will the Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Fire pull some magic rabbits out of his hat… or talk through it!?!

As a Cabinet Minister, Chris Philp is always going to be under incredible scrutiny.

And of course, you cannot please all of the people all of the time – although something garnering at least some semblance of approval every now and again shouldn’t be too much to ask, should it? 

A controversial figure, when Mr Philp speaks with them in closed session, following his main stage appearance at Retail Risk – London this April, I wonder what solace he will offer beleaguered retailers? What innovative thinking or even simple, practical steps will the Minister outline to help fight ORC? Let’s hope he grasps the opportunity to listen and help. 

In the past Mr Philp has received significant criticism from John Grace who described him as “No 10’s useful idiot” the Guardian reporter went on to write that “Men such as Philp earn their money by going out of their way to make sure they know nothing.”

Memorably, the Minister pledged in September ’23 that every shoplifting offence will be investigated by the police. Inevitably there followed the suggestion of a disconnect between the Minister and the reality of the possible – especially in retail settings! Although to be fair, “reality” for retailers is itself a moveable feast…

Now is the time for Mr Philp to prove John Grace wrong and step up to help retailers across the country.

Recently, when conducting a store visit to a supermarket, I was informed that the previous evening the site had suffered a burglary. It wasn’t the usual cosmetics, razor blades or spirits that had been stolen. No. Instead washing powder and fabric conditioner had been the focus of the attack.

With retailers now facing crime on products that haven’t traditionally been targeted, perhaps because ORC is deriving a massive income from the resale of stolen goods, then something more than fine words from government are needed.

With the cost of living crisis, it is easy to imagine how some people might feel compelled to commit crime in order to support themselves and their families, and how more people are willing to buy stolen products to make family budgets go further. ‘Though one thing is for sure. Whether people are turning to stealing or receiving stolen goods, retailers are increasingly up against it.

All-Tag have a range of products specifically targeting the area of resale of stolen goods (as opposed to stealing for own use) to make it less appealing for ORC by reducing the number of markets, and so prices, where resale is possible.

All-Tag’s Q-Guard, Q-Guard Lite and Evidence Labels try to eliminate or reduce the shoplifters’ ability to re-sell stolen products. By permanently ‘marking’ them with a retailer name or message, it shows that they are intended for sale in certain stores. So, if found for sale outside of these stores, questions are inevitably going to be asked about the individual or organisation trying to sell them.

Any attempt to remove this protection from products will result in damage to the packaging. And this damage will itself significantly reduce or remove the potential resale value.

If stolen goods are recovered with retailer branding, they can be re-patriated to the appropriate retailer and potentially re-distributed into supply chains, so recovering the revenue and margin or to assist law enforcement by identifying the victim and therefore making prosecutions easier.

Plus these anti ORC products are quick and easy to apply and also there is no “attach, detach and recycle back to store” process saving a huge amount of instore labour resource. This also means that all of these products are Self Check Out ready! What’s more as you would expect, they are fully customisable to exact retailer requirements.

The overlay nature of these All-Tag anti ORC products means we are protecting the LP detection asset, be it an RF, AM or RFID label. This makes it much harder for offenders to remove these essential labels and provides a very high level of deterrent.

I don’t know what Chris Philp is going to be saying at Retail Risk, or indeed what he will be doing to help retailers fight ORC. However, I am prepared to bet that it is not going to be anything as practical or effective as what we are already doing at All-Tag!

Tim Moore is Managing Director of All-Tag in the UK – Trusted source for EAS since 1992 www.all-tag.com

All-Tag will be exhibiting at Retail Risk – London. For details and to register click HERE…

Counting the cost of Fraud: scammers stole over £421 Million last quarter!

New report compares losses to credit card and banking fraud over the last three years…

Uswitch credit card experts have released a fraud report, detailing the average losses Brits have incurred due to credit card fraud, banking fraud and more in the past three years.

This data is based on police figures and the UK finance report.

Counting The Cost of Fraud: Scammers Stole Over £421 Million Last Quarter!

  • Uswitch analysis found that scammers stole £422 million last quarter, from 92,739 reported cases of fraud
  • Brits lost £1,212 million to credit card fraud in 2022, down 5% from the previous year
  • Over three quarters (76%) of fraud was credit card fraud
  • Data suggests £26.1 million was lost through fraudulent ATM withdrawals
  • The country where fraud on UK credit cards happens most is Ireland, followed by the USA

The new credit card fraud report from Uswitch analyses police figures[1] and the UK Finance report[2] to reveal where in the UK has seen the biggest rise in credit card fraud and cybercrime, plus which are the most common types.

Cybercrime has dominated the headlines over the past two years as fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. In some cases, successful criminals are stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds in just a single intrusion. 

2022 Credit Card Fraud figures

Salman Haqqi, Uswitch credit cards expert said: “Cybercrime has inflicted nearly £2.5 billion in losses on Britons over the past year, highlighting the importance of safeguarding our online data and exercising heightened caution during digital transactions.

“Using a credit card for online purchases provides an added layer of security. With purchases ranging from £100 to £30,000, even partial payment using a credit card entitles consumers to enhanced protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This provision enables reimbursement from the credit card issuer if the vendor becomes unresponsive or disputes arise.

“Maintaining up-to-date antivirus software across your devices — be it computers, phones, or tablets — serves as a proactive defence against cyber threats.

“Moreover, it’s crucial to remember that reputable institutions like banks never solicit sensitive information such as credit card details via phone or email.

“In the unfortunate event of monetary loss, prompt communication with your bank is paramount.”

What were the most common cases of credit card crime in the UK in 2023/24?

Who has been the most impacted by credit card crime?

Those aged 30-39 were targeted the most by fraud and cyber crimes in Q4 of 2023, with those aged 20-29 not far behind. Individuals younger than 70 were most commonly victims of online shopping and auctions fraud (excluding uncategorised crimes).

Older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software service fraud, advance fee fraud, cheque/card fraud, and door to door sales fraud.

Computer software service fraud involves criminals posing as legitimate software companies, such as Microsoft, calling you to tell you there’s a problem with your computer in order to gain access to your private information or hold you to ransom and commit fraud.

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Where have crimes increased the most quarter to quarter

The report also looked into police force figures to understand which parts of the UK have experienced a significant change in fraud figures.

In the last quarter of 2023, Bedfordshire saw the biggest rise in the number of reported crimes for a mainland UK police force – figures rose by almost 25% – with the total value of losses reaching nearing £4 million. City of London and Police Scotland were the only other forces that saw increases in Q4 (9% and 6% respectively).

Retail and Wholesale named one of the most stressful industries in the UK

New research has revealed the most stressful industries in the UK, with the human health and social work industry taking the top spot…  

  • A new study has found that retail and wholesale is one of the most stressful industries in the UK
  • Human health and social work ranked first, while public defence is in second
  • HSE data was examined to find the number of self-reported stress illnesses per 100,000 workers

New research has revealed the most stressful industries in the UK, with the human health and social work industry taking the top spot.

The study, conducted by personal injury experts at Claims.co.uk, analysed HSE data to examine the number of stress-related illnesses caused or worsened by employment per 100,000 workers from March 2022 to March 2023; the highest number of stress illnesses determined the ranking.

The human health and social work industry ranks first on the list;
the study found that 3,530 people per 100,000 workers have been impacted by stress at work. However, this industry has one of the largest
average salary ranges, between £17,000 to £63,000, and includes jobs such as doctors, therapists, and nursing home assistants.

Public defence, which has an average salary range of £18,000 to £31,000, is revealed as the second most stressful industry. For every 100,000 workers, 3,260 reported a stress-related illness, meaning that security guards and prison officers are highly likely to suffer from work-related stress.

The education industry is third on the list, which has an average salary range of £28,000 to £40,000. For every 100,000 workers, 2,720 people reported work-related stress, which is an overwhelming figure of almost 3 in 100.

Ranking fourth on the list is the professional, scientific, and technical industry, which includes jobs such as solicitors and barristers, and has an average salary range of £25,000 to £48,000. The study revealed that for every 100,000 workers, 2,310 have suffered from work-related stress.

The finance industry ranks fifth on the list, with 2,140 workers reporting a stress-related illness per 100,000 people. However, the finance industry has a high salary range, ranging from £28,000 to £54,000, where job roles include accountants and bankers.

The real estate industry ranks sixth on the list, which has an average salary range of £26,000 to £54,000 and includes jobs such as estate agents and property managers. The study reveals that for every 100,000 workers, 2,070 reported a stress-related illness.

The information and communication industry places seventh on the list, which has an average salary range of £24,000 to £44,000 and jobs such as IT workers and graphic designers. The study found that for every 100,000 workers, 1,870 people reported stress-related illnesses.

The arts and entertainment industry is eighth on the list; for every 100,000 workers, 1,820 people reported a stress-related illness. The industry includes jobs such as art directors, makeup artists, and background actors, and has an average salary range of £25,000 to £47,000.

Ranking ninth on the list is the wholesale and retail trade industry, where 1,530 people per 100,000 workers suffered from work-related stress. The average salary range is this industry is £19,000 to £34,000 and includes jobs such as sales administrators and retail cashiers.

The accommodation and food service industry is tenth on the list, which includes jobs such as bar staff and restaurant workers and has an average salary range of £14,000 to £45,000; 1,430 people in this industry suffered from work-related stress per 100,000 workers.

Tips On Making a Personal Injury Claim for Stress

#1. Identify The Cause of Your Stress
The most common causes for stress at work often arise from heavy workloads, lack of employer support, and workplace bullying. When starting a personal injury claim for emotional harm, it’s crucial to identify the cause of your stress. Legally, employers owe their employees a duty of care in the workplace, so it’s important to recognise when they have harmed your emotional health.

#2. Make a Note of Your Emotions
In order to identify the cause of work-related stress, it can be useful to make a note of your emotions on a daily basis. This can help you keep track of your emotional health and can allow you to determine whether your mental health has significantly worsened during your employment. These notes can also be a helpful source during GP appointments.

#3. Speak to Your Employer About Any Concerns
Before starting a personal injury claim, it can be helpful to vocalise your concerns to your employer where possible. Perhaps the situation could be mitigated through negotiation, such as requesting a lighter workload; however, if your employer refuses to consider your mental well-being when distributing heavy workloads, this could be a potential cause for a personal injury claim.

#4. Keep Track of Any GP Appointments
It’s crucial to keep track of any GP appointments and maintain these medical records – many personal injury claims have to be submitted within three years of when the injury/emotional harm occurred, so these records can help speed up personal injury claims.

A spokesperson from Claims.co.uk, commented on the study: “We are currently living amid a mental health crisis, which means that it’s essential for us to look after ourselves and recognise when our mental wellbeing may be at risk, particularly in the workplace.”

“It’s fundamental for employers to protect their employees’ mental health. One of the main ways this can be done is to regularly check in with employees, aiming to create an open environment to discuss thoughts and feelings.”

Some people may assume that personal injury claims are limited to broken bones and cuts, but they also extend to what people can’t see, such as mental, emotional, or psychological harm; so, if you have experienced stress at work, it is in your best interest to speak to a legal professional.”

This information was provided by personal injury experts at Claims.co.uk

New event app on trial for Retail Risk – London ‘24

Delegates will be able to plan their days better, and make sure that they don’t miss a thing…

Our Retail Risk Steering Committee met at the HQ of Next Plc, about 5 months ago.

The senior retailers attending had all given up their time. Some had travelled significant distances to be there. All were keen to make sure that Retail Risk – London was the best event ever.

Retail Risk – London has undergone some BIG changes this year. If you would like to watch a short video explaining them all click HERE…

Needless to say, our Steering Committee has been keen to make sure that the new event format continues to be, at its core, all about collaboration between retailers to prevent loss. An event where retailers can network, swap war stories and recommendations, hear from an international roster of politicians, police, academics and vendors about the latest thinking on best practice across all of the key areas of challenge in retail right now.

There is so much going on throughout the day at the revamped Retail Risk – London that it would be easy to miss some important stuff. And it is in response to the request of our Steering Committee that, over the past few months, we have been working on delivering a new event app; to enhance the delegate experience.

Event apps run on data. And that is a touchy subject for us…

At Retail Knowledge we have spent more than two decades building a reputation for fairness and discretion. Retailers share a great deal of confidential information with us daily, knowing that we can be trusted to keep it confidential and guard it carefully. They know it will not be passed on to other businesses in our control, or sold to third parties for a quick profit.

So, visitors to Retail Risk – London will not have their data pre-loaded on to the new app as a fait accomplis. Instead, all delegates will receive a password, allowing them to download the app. If you do not have the password, which will be in your event joining instructions, then you cannot download the app.

By downloading the app and using a second password, which will be well publicised on the day at the event, you will be able to see the full agenda, check out speakers of interest, find your way around the exhibition and make the very best use of the day.

Delegates wishing to take advantage of even more features will be asked to provide basic contact details to login. This will give an enhanced user experience, including reminders about upcoming events they have planned to attend, as well as participating in onsite polls, providing speaker feedback and so forth.

There is also an option to share your data with other people on the app, but this will be turned off by default. The only way to use the feature is to positively make the choice to turn it on.

And of course, if you prefer ‘old school’ there will be printed agendas available on the door, and signage to guide you around.

See you there!

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