by Karl Langhorst, CPP, CFI, LPQ
Organized retail crime (ORC) teams are usually aware of the challenges facing their retail stores. And they understand that many store managers or staff simply do not have enough time to fill out incident reports completely every single time. But ORC teams can only do so much to address external theft at the store level without accurate data and open lines of communication in the form of incident reports.
Through thorough training and educating your store leadership about the meaningful impact incident reports have on reducing potential crime, you can provide your ORC team with the insightful data they need to do their jobs effectively.
How Can Stores Produce Actionable Data?
ORC teams need detailed data from their retail stores to search for theft patterns, identify ORC suspects, and present that information to law enforcement. Retailers can support their ORC team by listening to their concerns about the store’s incident reporting, finding out what their ORC team may need from them, and taking that into consideration to reassess their reporting process.
Retailers should look at how employees are using existing reporting technology and train them on how to enter data correctly, completely, and in a timely manner. They should also train on the specific details their ORC team needs in incident reports, such as giving an accurate suspect description, detailing the type of product lost, and how it was stolen. Incident reports should always include a police report number so that ORC investigators can communicate with law enforcement and support their investigative efforts. It is critical store managers understand company policy on reporting criminal activity and feel comfortable with how to report those events to local law enforcement.
Educating Staff About the Impact of Reporting
Most store managers and staff feel motivated to support their ORC teams when they hear their data is
being used as part of a solution. Helping store employees understand the value and impact of fully detailed incident reports have been one of the most effective ways to encourage them to report future incidents.
It is important to establish an open line of communication between your shop and your ORC team so that you can keep your personnel informed about the outcomes of court cases and the triumphs that have occurred in their community. This transparent communication further highlights the real results that happen as a result of appropriately reported occurrences, and it demonstrates to the members of the shop team that the reports they file may make a difference in the world.
How ALTO Can Help
Aligning ORC investigators with their retail partners is the first step to successfully tackling ORC.
However, the ALTO team understands that this is a heavy lift for retailers constantly facing the brunt of
crime in their stores.
The ALTO team partners with ORC teams to support their efforts with store management to help address external theft and bridge communication gaps. ALTO reinforces the importance of incident reporting and encourages store management to play an active role in supporting their ORC teams so that they can do their jobs effectively by tying the data together, identifying specific theft patterns and criminals, and closing the loop on ORC.
Interested in strengthening your team with a people-first solution to addressing retail crimes? Contact us to join the ALTO Alliance today. https://www.alto.us/contact/