Loss prevention and asset protection decision-makers need clearer pictures of the causes and dynamics of their crime and loss issues. Precise, cost-effective solutions addressing specific parts of a defined problem are much better than shotgunning fixes at blurry issues.
For example, if we determine specific crews are targeting particular stores to burglarize for Apple products by entering at certain points to disable alarms on preferred days of the week at select times, we can now devise more focused deterrent and high-impact offender arrest tactics.
We continue to add detection, definition, deterrence, and documentation capability. And I’ve repeatedly mentioned before how we help paint our diagnosis picture with data since it is so important. Remember the four Cs. We strive to (1) collect the right variables (offender, event, and environmental characteristics) in order to (2) completely gather these data for all incident attempts, not just some of them. We also increase our accuracy and minimize errors by checking to make sure what we collect is (3) correct or accurate. And all data needs to be (4) coded so we can analyze them. Data should be numerical rather than text whenever possible by using drop-down boxes. It is very difficult to quantitatively analyze text information on a large scale.
Every LP/AP team needs to think through priority crime and loss events and how they play out. From that exercise, we determine what variables we should collect and in what format to paint our picture in order to ultimately reduce problems and bad outcomes.
2016 Impact Conference
Our latest Impact experience is in the books and set more attendance records, including 300 registrants from 45 retail chains. But most importantly, the group was able to discuss many of the twenty-two LP research projects the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) has conducted this year to date. All studies were given to Impact participants on thumb drive, with more to come.
Our LPRC board of advisors chair, John Voytilla of Office Depot/Max, has stressed enhancing the tie-in between LPRC and the University of Florida (UF), and this really seemed to happen this year. Dean David Richardson of UF’s largest college, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, welcomed the large group to campus and described how the university is working to produce a formalized LP internship program to funnel bright, capable student talent to retailers and solution partners, as well as online LP/AP certificate programs to be launched in April 2017.
UF also had multiple students serving as conference guides wearing trademark lab coats, while several faculty members from retailing science, supply
chain engineering, criminology, survey research, and cyber security interacted with LP practitioners.
All eleven working groups conducted planning breakouts and the annual poster session where all participants move through the hall listening to retail executives from each working group describe the results of a project and their groups’ future directions.
Panels discussed best methods and future opportunities with retailer-solution research and development partnerships; local, state, and federal law enforcement organized retail crime (ORC) investigators, and the UF/LPRC Innovation Lab and working groups. Great session speakers included Tarleton State University Criminologist Tara Shelley, PhD, discussing her extensive armed-robber decision-making research findings and LTAS Technologies’ Allen Atamer discussing the deep/dark web.
Participants rotated between six Learning Lab breakouts spending twenty-five minutes discussing recent research and efforts in the five zones of influence. Finally, Monday evening was spent networking and touring the upgraded Innovation Lab to discuss the over seventy deployed technologies in the zones of influence. Tuesday evening networking took place in the Swamp stadium playing tailgating games and posing with Gator cheerleaders and Albert the Alligator.
We hope to work with even more of you next October 2–4 at UF as we expand the Learning Labs, experience a “zones zone,” and much more.
I want to acknowledge and rave about LP Magazine’s fifteen years of huge contributions to our industry. Jim Lee, Jack Trlica, and the rest of the crew have built and steadily improved LP practice, professionalism, and results through their magazine, newsletter, online resources, and annual meeting to mention just a few of their innovations. I am always honored to be able to work with LP Magazine.
Psychological Criminology: An Integrative Approach by Richard Wortley doesn’t just discuss psychological theories of crime and criminality, but also helps us tie current understanding to practical solution ideas.