D&D Daily just reported retail death and crime data for Q1, and the news is not good. Retail deaths have continued to climb 12%, while criminal acts at retail stores are up 20%.
More than half of the people killed were innocent victims of retail crime. In Q1 alone, 60 innocent people lost their lives due to retail crime. The highest percentage of retail deaths occurred in convenience stores followed closely by restaurants and big box retail stores.
As violent retail crime becomes increasingly prevalent, it begs the question: how many of these retail deaths could have been prevented?
How Face Recognition Works to Prevent Retail Crime
Face recognition technology gives loss prevention and retail security personnel crime prevention unprecedented powers. A biometric surveillance platform like FaceFirst’s works by automatically matching people’s faces against a database of known retail criminals. The moment there’s a match, loss prevention professionals get an instant alert that tells them where to go and who to watch in order to prevent crime. Rather than having to react to instances, they can proactively prevent crime.
Here is a more in-depth look at a few of the ways that face recognition can help your team reduce retail crime in 2017 and beyond.
Build a Watchlist
Preventing crime with face recognition begins with building a database of relevant people to watch. These might include people with a history of shoplifting, known organized retail criminals, violent criminals who are wanted by law enforcement agencies and more. Certain companies, like FaceFirst, will even curate and manage your watchlist for you. This can provide you with a list of people to watch that otherwise may not have been on your security team’s radar. Of course, as you identify retail criminals in any of your stores, you can add them to your watchlist to make your database even more relevant.
Get Actionable Alerts
As your customers enter your stores, you can then match them against images in your database. When there’s a match, your security team will get instant alerts with actionable directives. This is where you can really cut down on violent incidents. Simply offering customer service to a known retail criminal can often deter them from stealing. Less crime virtually always acquaints with less in-store violence. That’s because retail deaths and injuries typically occur when security professionals intervene during or after an incident.
There are also certain dangerous people that your loss prevention team probably shouldn’t approach at all. FaceFirst’s facial recognition platform can alert your loss prevention team to call police, rather than approaching individuals who pose a serious threat.
Identify Crime Patterns
When facial recognition systems have an analytics component, you can predict which times and locations experience the highest instances of retail crime. This empowers you to ensure that stores are adequately staffed to successfully handle threats. FaceFirst even gives you historical data that reveals which stores individuals on your watchlist have visited and how often. By identifying crime and threat patterns, you can do a better job of preventing violence in your stores.
Though retail crime is on the rise, face recognition offers an actionable way to prevent crime and keep your stores safer in 2017 than ever before.