Law Enforcement Partnerships with Retailers Can Be a Valuable Resource

The term “organized retail crime” (ORC) refers to more than just a shoplifting problem. It’s a societal scourge that reaches beyond our retail stores and into our communities.

The best way to fight against ORC is by working together. Law enforcement partnerships with retailers and prosecutors as part of organized retail crime associations (ORCAs) is one key way to do that.

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Law enforcement partnerships with the retail community can establish a foundation of mutual support. When agencies, retail investigators, and prosecutors make a sincere effort to share information in response to ORC concerns, they are more likely to resolve issues and make arrests that can halt theft operations.

This collaborative effort is the subject of an article in the August issue of LPM Online. Jac Brittain, LPC, enumerates some of the major benefits of sharing information. From the article:

While confidentiality remains an important principle and an essential aspect of the investigative process, sharing relevant intelligence information with the right people, agencies, and/o organizations at the right time is vital to establishing and maintaining successful collaborative relationships.

Understanding when, where, how, what, why, and to what extent information is shared with others can be critical to an investigation. The benefits of having a partnership between retailers and law enforcement extends well beyond arrests involving merchandise thefts. These types of incidents are often considered “gateway” crimes, often leading to more‑serious criminal events. The networking opportunities can also lead to trust and better relationships that can last for years to come.

Check out the full article, “Facing a Whale of a Problem, ORCAs Provide Some Answers,” to discover ways in which we might take these alliances a step further—and what responsibilities we must be cognizant of while sharing information.

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