Over the past few years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of violent crimes occurring in large retail store networks, with very recognizable names such as Costco, Walmart, and Target being among them. The rising number of crimes occurring has put a lot of pressure on Corporate Security Directors (CSD) to think of new ways to prevent shoplifting, robberies, carpark accidents, and other incidents that harm stores’ reputation as a safe place to shop.
Thankfully, there are a lot of tactics and hardware that CSDs can employ in keeping retail shops safe. Here are five that are worth checking out:
One problem with CCTV cameras is that sometimes the videos are very poor in quality, making identification of criminals (or even just outright recognition of whether there’s an incident happing) difficult. With the rise of 4K video, this is no longer a problem. A 4K video offers roughly 4 times the resolution of a 1080P video stream, which means more detail can be captured and allowing security personnel to better identify perpetrators or incidents as they occur.
The one challenge to 4K video is that it needs a lot of storage space. Therefore, before security systems can have such high quality video, they also need to upgrade their infrastructure to better accommodate the increased requirements for storage and processing.
Many surveillance cameras these days are now capable of remote monitoring over the Internet, so security personnel don’t always have to be stationed in front of the monitor room just to watch over the feeds. Even a security officer who is at home or in vacation can check the cameras out using a smartphone. In more pragmatic applications, a security officer can have a means of checking the video feeds while being present at a location that requires his physical presence.
With big data analysis, security can ensure the accuracy of inventory records and prevent losses. This can also be applied to video analytics, as security can take advantage of stored video footages in order to monitor traffic volumes, motion patterns, movement trends, and other figures that can be used to better optimize deployment of personnel and resources.
Many social networks these days, such as youtube, facebook, or review sites like Yelp offer valuable insight straight from the customers themselves. Retailers should never ignore what is going on in these sites, as they do provide data that could help in addressing reliability concerns, particularly with regard to safety issues. Many customers these days are more comfortable voicing out danger concerns through social media as opposed to confronting a retail chain’s management.
Instead of wasting manpower on cramming as many personnel on staffed checkouts, security can be reduced by adding security cameras that have PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) capabilities. These can even be adapted in retail, particularly at POS (point of sale) locations. This also has the benefit of being unobtrusive, which means legitimate customers who are not committing any crime will be more comfortable.
One cannot stop the rise of crime and violence in retail, but with technology improving by leaps and bounds, a business or a security officer should never pass up the chance to leverage new technology and intelligence sources for better protection of the retail network’s staff, stores, and stock.