With an increase in retail crime and the holiday shopping season approaching, more retail stores are hiring security guards, says Access Patrol Services (APS), a security guard company serving California and Arizona.
“Unfortunately, the holidays always bring out a criminal element,” says Fahim Abid, APS security director. “This year’s holiday season will be similar to 2019 as people feel more comfortable venturing out to shop. We’ll see crowds in stores and malls. This means thieves will be emboldened, counting on busy or distracted store employees not noticing their criminal activity.”
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2021 Retail Security Survey, 69 percent of those surveyed said the pandemic is causing an increase in fraud, crime and overall risk to their company. The average loss per shoplifting incident in 2020 was $461, an increase from $270 in 2019. The average loss per robberies took the biggest jump in 2020 to $7,594 versus $828 in 2019. Not surprisingly, about 69 percent of retailers surveyed saw an increase in organized retail crime in 2020. These crime rings have also become more aggressive and violent, retailers said.
“Organized crime rings enter a busy store, grab what they can and are out in seconds. They then blend into the holiday shopping crowd before store employees have a chance to react,” says Abid.
To combat the increase in retail crime, 43 percent of retailers surveyed said they would be allocating additional staff resources to help prevent criminal activity. “We’re noticing that retail stores are requesting more security earlier this year ahead of the holidays,” says Abid. “They know that the holidays are when they can make the most money, but it’s also the time when they can lose the most to theft.”
Retail guards are stationed at store entrances and around items that are attractive to criminals. The goal is to discourage shoplifters from stealing. If thieves are caught, guards detain them until authorities arrive.
Abid suggests additional tactics to prevent theft including mounting securing cameras throughout the store with accompanying signage, having employees greet and make eye contact with all those who enter and keeping clear lines of sight between aisles so it is less likely someone can steal without being seen.
Contact Access Patrol Services at 866-770-0004 with questions about holiday security for retail stores, shopping centers and malls in California and Arizona.