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Retail Deaths Continue to Climb. Here’s How Face Recognition Can Help

Each year, hundreds of people die in retail environments. Some die in burglary attempts. But far too often, people are hurt or killed when shoplifting incidents turn violent. One of the biggest problems is that most retail security solutions are reactive, only alerting security to shoplifting that is in progress or has already occurred. But what if retailers could prevent retail crime and violence from ever happening in the first place?

Face recognition offers retailers the most effective way to combat growing retail violence.

An Increase in Violent Deaths

The D&D Daily just released some new data that underscores that the retail security status quo isn’t working. Comparing Q1 of 2018 to Q1 of 2017, retail deaths climbed 12%. Criminal acts have climbed 11% since 2017. As retail violence continues to climb, retailers have an increased responsibility to protect their customers and employees from potentially violent criminals.

Violence by the Numbers

Q1 of 2018 saw 125 violent retail deaths. Of those deaths, 50% were customers and 22% were employees. Of those who died, 35% were killed in the store itself, while the others were killed in parking lots of off-premises. 30% of the retail deaths happened during shoplifting or burglary incidents. 

Most Dangerous Areas

According to the data, Texas is the most violent state, followed by California and Georgia. And this year, Birmingham replaced Houston as the city with the most violent retail deaths. The south and southwest are, overall, the regions that experienced the highest number of violent deaths.

Could Face Recognition Have Prevented These Violent Retail Deaths?

While it’s impossible to say whether face recognition could have prevented all these retail deaths, it almost certainly could have reduced the number. This is especially true of the deaths that occurred during shoplifting incidents. Face recognition can provide instant alerts when known shoplifters, dangerous ex-employees or other individuals with a history of violence enter a store. 

Our customers using face recognition surveillance are seeing dramatic decreases in violent incidents. This is because most incidents of violence occur when a crime is already in progress. But by identifying known shoplifters and offering them aggressive customer service, our system actually prevents incidents of shoplifting and violence. In fact, our internal data shows that customers experience a 91% decrease in violence when using face recognition.

No customer or employee should ever have to die because of retail crime. We look forward to continuing to prevent incidents of violence around the world. 


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