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The retailers' dilemma

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Chris Vallance | 13:33 UK time, Thursday, 5 March 2009


I've been speaking with Richard, a loss prevention manager for a high street food retailer - he'd rather we didn't say which - it's his job to try and prevent shoplifting.

Richard's critical of changes in the way the crime is dealt with following the introduction of on-the-spot-fines (Penalty Notices for Disorder), a view echoed by the Magistrates Association.

As a retailer shoplifting presents a challenging problem - naturally he wants to reduce theft, but he doesn't want his staff to put themselves at risk by following thieves out the shop or getting involved in a potentially violent confrontation. He's also conscious of the fact that some of those who steal may be the neighbours of his staff - he told me that some of his staff had been physically threatened outside of work after trying to stop a crime. For Richard it's all about deterrence, but how to deter the thieves without deterring customers? Quite a dilemma.

If you have a view on what Richard says in the interview below we'd very much like to hear your experiences. This interview will be part of a package that will run on iPM later in the spring.

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