Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the onset of its ever-evolving challenges, the retail industry has been contending with a number of other trends including the re-allocation of policing resources, changes to sentencing guidelines, and the growth of online marketplaces. These combined have created a perfect storm in which organized retail crime (ORC) has thrived. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2022 Retail Security Survey, retailers saw a 26.5 percent increase in ORC incidents over the past year representing $94.5 billion in losses. Not only that, but increased felony thresholds meant prosecutions fell, making criminal activity even more attractive.
Deterring Violent and Aggressive Incidents with Body Cameras
As economic and lifestyle pressures have continued to exacerbate the levels of retail crime and the brazenness with which it is committed, the volume of incidents involving violence and aggression has also increased, with retail associates impacted the most. A recent New York Times article revealed that of the more than 2 million assaults reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the country in 2020, more than 82,000—about 4 percent—occurred in a retail store. In the UK, which is facing similar issues, retailers are increasingly turning to body-worn camera technology. The signature front-facing screen found only on Reveal’s body camera has proven to deter and de-escalate violence and aggression by having a calming effect on the person being recorded. One of the UK’s leading health and beauty retailers using Reveal’s retail cameras saw a 68 percent reduction in violent and aggressive incidents in the first of its high-risk stores to trial the technology and is now rolling out deployment across its portfolio. Similar benefits have been experienced in grocery settings—a popular UK supermarket saw a 41 percent decrease in violent crime in stores using Reveal body cameras.
Safeguarding Retail Associates’ Mental Health and Well-Being
More retail associates than ever before are reporting that they feel more unsafe at work and are experiencing lower levels of well-being. In the one in four workers reported high levels of anxiety and a staggering 48 percent considered quitting their full-time retail job all together. With the threat of increased antisocial behavior and risk of being assaulted at an all-time high, making associates feel safer at work must become a top priority for retailers. Throughout their implementation phase, body cameras have not only proven their capabilities in deterring violence and aggression, but also their ability to improve the confidence of the wearer. In the UK, one home goods retailer reported that 100 percent of retail associates felt safer and more confident at work when wearing a body camera and 95 percent wanted to continue using body cameras post-trial. Similarly, 78 percent of associates at one of the UK’s largest high‑street fashion retailers said that dealing with less risk has had a positive impact on their mental well-being.
Capturing Video and Audio for Evidence Gathering and Prosecution
Capturing an independent account of a situation that has taken place is vital when it comes to evidence gathering and the successful prosecution of any retail crime. Second to that is having a comprehensive evidence management system in which to review, manage, and share this information with law enforcement and to build cases against repeat or known offenders. DEMS 360 is Reveal’s most advanced digital evidence management solution that enables retailers to automatically upload all digital evidence including video, audio, and documentation into a single, secure platform to review and add notes. For one customer, our body camera and DEMS 360 software were key in achieving convictions in six cases involving customers that had committed criminal damage. Not only has our solution been proven to deliver the desired outcome, but it has also been shown to strengthen the relationships between retailers and law enforcement who are able to better support retailers and associates affected by retail crime.
Contact Reveal and take the first step toward deterring violent crime and safeguarding your retail associates with body cameras. Visit revealmedia.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +888 269-9924 to discuss a trial.