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How do you deal with shoplifting as a self-employed person?

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As an entrepreneur, you will inevitably have to deal with uncomfortable situations. Shoplifting is one of them and is unfortunately very common. Therefore, the chance that you will be confronted with it as a self-employed person is more than likely, even when you do not sell directly to consumers. So what can you do as a self-employed person to arm yourself against theft? What if you catch a thief in the act?

What types of thieves can you encounter as a self-employed person?

One thief is not the other. Just as a ram raid cannot be compared to a teenager hiding a pair of earrings, different types are out to steal. As an independent entrepreneur, it is best to take appropriate measures to protect your own business against theft, depending on the kind of thief.

Occasional thieves: These are often customers who steal things impulsively. Opportunity is an important factor here. Think of a customer who cannot afford a product and decides to hide it in his pocket. This type of thief always acts very amateurishly.

Professional Thieves: In this case, it’s not necessarily about customers. Professional thieves live off their loot and often work in gangs.

Regular offenders: For frequent offenders, the opportunity is not essential either. They steal regularly and often look for expensive products such as tobacco and perfume.

Incited Thieves: Some people find it exciting to steal something and only steal things for that reason. Often these are young people who want to prove themselves to their peers. They don’t think about the consequences and only do it when the opportunity presents itself.

Kleptomaniacs: Some people cannot contain themselves and have a solid mental urge to steal. The products they take away are atypical. It’s not about the product for them. It’s about the action. Therefore, the stolen goods are usually not as valuable or worthwhile.

In Tampa, entrepreneurs, in most cases, have to deal with occasional or professional theft. So it should come as no surprise that some stores are more at risk than others. Are you self-employed in the retail sector? Then know that you can take the best measures to prevent theft. Thieves are also more active in specific retail departments, such as food, perfumery, alcohol, butchery, and women’s clothing.

How can you, as an entrepreneur, prevent theft?

Before you think about ordering a series of , you can take many steps to reduce theft risk significantly. In the first place, you should ask yourself some questions about the organization of your own company.

Organizational measures to prevent theft

Clear procedures and agreements ensure that internal or occasional thefts occur less frequently. Your employees must be aware of their role and the associated responsibilities. That way, your cash register and the other departments of your store are constantly handled. Also, discuss the daily schedule with your employees. Are there any (special) deliveries that your employees should be aware of? The more your employees know the ordinary course of business, the faster they spot suspicious actions.

Conversely, not every employee needs full access everywhere. Think about your key management: who can enter where, and is that necessary? If necessary, opt for badges or another type of electronic key. These can be disabled in case of loss and are challenging to duplicate.

Do you want to be able to recognize a potential thief among your customers?

Is your own business located in a location where theft is common? Then you can consider calling in a store inspector or a static agent. There is indeed a difference between the two: a shop inspector walks around anonymously (in plain clothes) in your shop. At the same time, a security guard in uniform is standing by between the cash register and the exit. Do you suffer from impulsive thieves? Then choose a static agent. A store inspector is more likely to catch and catch thieves in the act.

Architectural measures that discourage stealing

Is your store well organized? Then you can also evaluate the layout of your store based on several concrete questions, such as:

  • Are there products displayed near the exit?
  • How much space is provided between the cash register and the exit?
  • How is the lighting in your store?
  • Is your store organized in an orderly manner?
  • Is there a good overview of your store?
  • How many views do you have over the store when you are behind the cash register?
  • Are there small spaces where people can hide?

Technological measures to catch offenders

While security cameras may be the first thing that comes to mind, other measures also fall under technological measures. Think of hard and soft tags attached to products that set off an alarm when thieves want to get away with them and walk past a detection gate. Hard tags are made of plastic or metal. Soft tags are usually stickers that are stuck on smaller products

Highly visible cameras can deter impulsive thieves, but a camera system is most useful when someone, for example, a store inspector, watches the images in real-time and can intervene immediately. Therefore, it is also best to place them in blind spots or near valuable products.

Telesurveillance (also called CCTV software) can be enabled by large security companies such as G4S. In addition to your camera surveillance, trained operators continuously monitor the images. Once there is a question of theft, they inform the party that was registered under the procedure that was mutually agreed upon. It could be, for example, the police, yourself, or the fire brigade.

Attention: camera images are not always accepted as evidence in court!

You catch a thief in your own business! What are you better doing or not doing?

If you have seen that someone wants to steal from you, avoid a direct or brutal confrontation. Chances are very high that the thief will become defensive and angry. So go for a discreet approach and ask if you can help find what they are looking for. Is there a chance that the person will become aggressive? Observe as much as possible and note (outward) characteristics, for example, a number plate, to pass on to the police later. Teach your employees the same method.

Attention! A security guard or store inspector can only take action between the cash register and the entrance, Also read:- bbq cleaning gold coast

Have professional thieves robbed you? Is the thief acting strangely or aggressively? Don’t take any chances and always contact the police. Give an occasional thief a choice: ‘Either you give back the stolen items, or I’ll get the police involved. The chances are that the thief would rather not have the police on the scene, return your products and flee.