Knife crime has rocketed by 22 percent across England and Wales in the largest jump ever recorded by the police, to almost 40,000 incidents in 2017; whilst the UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks per capita in the world Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).
In response, the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, launched in April 2018, places an increased responsibility on retailers to manage the sale of knives, corrosive substances and other items that could be used in criminal acts, particularly purchases by customers aged under 18 years of age.
Monitoring these sales in a busy store is a major challenge for retailers – especially where self-scanning is in place; whilst there are major risks attached to relying on staff to exercise the diligence required to manage age-restricted sales, even after extensive training.
Lodge Service has launched a software solution called Transpeye, to help retailers meet ‘due diligence’ responsibilities, support store staff and help to protect the public from potential threats.
Transpeye is a low-cost, cloud-based system that enables retailers to quickly set up EPoS alerts for whenever potentially dangerous items are presented for payment at the point of sale, at a cost of £15 per month to monitor a single store or system.
The software offers a user-friendly dashboard interface. Retailers can set up alerts for ‘exceptions’ such as the sale of a knife or acid-based product, with over 50 policy templates available. If an alarmed event occurs, the system automatically logs it and sends an alert, with a connection to the CCTV system to provide visual confirmation and evidence, if later required.
Exceptions can include a string of items in a single transaction that could be a cause for concern. This might include the purchase of multiple knives, or of both a knife and binding tape, for example.
The data can be sent as an alert to a store manager’s smartphone or remote monitoring centre. A dynamic dashboard on the user’s PC provides real-time status. It also generates scheduled reports in PDF format to support further investigation of an incident.
When an event occurs, the user has full transaction data immediately available on-screen for review. This includes the type of policy violation, receipt data, a screenshot of till information that was input and CCTV video of the event, with playback controls.
A further option is a two-way radio system with connection from any point of sale to Lodge Service’s remote monitoring station; this enables direct customer engagement by trained staff at the centre. It is a particularly helpful solution to support self-scan systems, so that the customer can be questioned directly about a purchase, and further staff back-up or police support summoned.
Transpeye can also be used to identify a range of other events, including instances of possible theft or fraudulent transactions. This includes when goods are returned, if a security alarm sounds, or a fire door is opened for example. Transpeye eliminates the need to check every exception or alarmed event, which is too time-consuming for busy retailers, says Ben Macdonald, director of Lodge Service:
“Transpeye gives retailers the protection of exception-based data analysis, verified by CCTV video film. They can pay just to protect a single till, system device or multiple stores as they choose. It is easy to use: at any time the user is only three clicks away from identifying a potential threat or concern. Whether this is within their EPoS, security or other in-store systems.
“Current retail data mining systems in the market can be expensive. They usually demand lengthy staff training and must be applied across the retailer’s network, requiring major integration with existing retail systems. Transpeye is much easier to set up”
The system offers ease of connectivity over the internet. It integrates data from EPoS, EAS, smart shelves, fire doors and alarm and access control systems.
Data security is a major system feature. Servers are hosted in the British Isles, and no credit card data is recorded, transmitted or retained. Transpeye is PCI DSS compliant, with robust data encryption. Further details are at Transpeye.
Contact: Lodge Service, Bank House, 15 Gosditch Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AG.