Lodge Service recently attended the SGF & RAC conference held at Hampden Park, which saw good attendance and was well-chaired by Tim Lilleyman from Pinnacle. The conference had several speakers addressing important issues related to retail crime.
Maxine Fraser from RAC spoke positively about the support the police were providing when good intelligence was provided to them. However, she expressed concern about the lack of sanctions for repeat offenders and those belonging to organised gangs. She stressed the need for political pressure to improve the judicial process.
Kate Graham, the Operation Director at the COOP Support Centre, showed a video that highlighted cases of staff who were threatened and assaulted while carrying out their duties in shops. This was a serious cause for concern, which was also confirmed by the recent BRC report.
Russell Finlay, SMP, expressed his support for retailers who are trying to deal with the issues of retail crime. He was particularly vocal about the Bail & Release Bill being read in the Scottish Parliament, which could mean that repeat high-value offenders stealing from shops would not be remanded in custody. He was working hard to have the bill amended.
Overall, the conference was thought-provoking and highlighted the need for good intelligence reporting combined with well-trained security officers and staff, supported by quality technology, as a starting point for dealing with retail crime. However, more work needs to be done in the area of judicial action to ensure that repeat offenders are dealt with effectively.