LPM Insider Survey: Have you ever been assaulted when attempting to detain a shoplifter?

The nature of the apprehension process always has the potential to lead to volatile situations.

As part of last week’s LPM Insider survey, we debated whether a loss prevention associate used excessive force in an encounter with a 16-year-old girl accused of shoplifting.

According to police, when the loss prevention representative approached two female teenagers as they allegedly attempted to leave the store with stolen merchandise, one of the teenagers began kicking and punching the loss prevention representative, later biting him on the chest, before being taken to the ground as the loss prevention representative attempted to subdue the alleged shoplifter. The other teenager fled the scene.

The majority of those surveyed believed that the LP representative’s actions were justified based on the situation. Others believed that the LP representative should have allowed the shoplifter to leave when she resisted, and there were also a few respondents that felt that the actions of the LP representative were inappropriate.

While there may be some debate over how this particular situation was handled by the LP representative, another critical aspect of the incident involved the assault of the LP representative as he attempted to detain the shoplifter

The nature of the apprehension process always has the potential to lead to volatile situations. Yet despite employee training and company policies intended to mitigate these situations, incidents still occur on a regular and consistent basis that involve the assault of loss prevention professionals during the apprehension process—some leading to tragic results. Even for the most seasoned professionals, when shoplifters are faced with the threat of detainment and potential criminal charges, emotions can run high and individuals can be unpredictable.

Regardless of our current positions, most of those in loss prevention still have roots as representatives apprehending shoplifters. Has an assault ever happened to you?

In this week’s LPM Insider Survey, we’re asking:


We look forward to your insights and opinions! Please feel free to candidly share your thoughts. All responses to the survey will remain anonymous.

Look for the results of the survey to appear in next Monday’s LPM Insider.

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