Supporting your business isn’t only developing good strategies and executing them, it also includes ensuring the safety of your assets. By the end of the 2021 financial year, 38% of wholesale and retail properties in the UK experienced a crime. This was equivalent to over 150,000 properties, with the majority being due to theft (29%), assaults (11%), and burglary (10%).
Making sure your products and monetary gains are accounted for and protected is a priority, whether this is implementing security measures for the day or overnight.
Here, we will explore innovative technology that can assist in crime prevention measures and ensure your business is safe from theft.
Technology plays a significant role in the ways businesses protect themselves against crime. Electronic article security tags are used widely in retail to assist in anti-theft measures. After installing an EAS system, businesses claim a 60-80% reduction in theft. Yet, despite their already apparent protection benefits, innovations in EAS technology are still occurring.
New benefit-denial tags have been developed, which, when tampered with or removed, spill staining ink across the stolen item. This ruins the product and deters thieves from stealing as they would have to remove the tags themselves, putting the product at risk and rendering the crime useless.
As with the development of technology, we also see an increase in integrated systems and centralisation models. Whereas before, technology was disconnected and worked independently of one another, it can now be connected to work more efficiently. This will sync all systems from the surveillance cameras and safes storage systems to alarms. If surveillance is triggered, then safety measures can be automatically enhanced through these systems and coding rather than relying on human input.
Artificial Intelligence is having a significant impact on many industry sectors, security being one of them. AI can be used as a safety measure in many ways. Retailers might use this technology for facial recognition. Particularly for purchases which legally require ID, AI can alert assistants for ID verification. Facial recognition could also be used for repeat offenders who target regular spots. It can also recognise employees to provide added security to staff areas which might require authorisation to access. This can also improve the safety of the workplace as dangerous work areas can be monitored easier, noting the amount of time an employee might spend in an area, and alerting a manager if the AI detects danger, such as an employee getting locked in storage.
Artificial intelligence can also reduce inventory shrinkage. This can often happen through employee thefts, which account for 22% of retail shrinkage within the UK. AI can detect common anxious behaviours and routine inaccuracies to determine whether an employee is likely, or has, stolen. The correct authorities can be warned either before or during the event.
Wi-Fi, although not often considered a security measure, can assist in multiple ways. Wi-Fi waves can be used to detect movement and misplacement within a property. Unlike CCTV, Wi-Fi waves can offer uninterrupted views of an area, not affected by walls, lighting and other external factors. This is known as Wi-Fi sensing. Businesses could use this as a means of monitoring storage throughout the day, increasing security without the need for an alarm system which might be tripped or need deactivating if the area is being used.
Wi-Fi can also be used to increase security with remote tuning. Increased security doesn’t just come from implementing innovative technology but maintaining the upkeep of these security measures so that they are performing their best. EAS can sometimes have issues, but Wi-Fi can be used to operate remote services. Systems can be diagnosed and operated from afar, reducing the need for a technician to visit the store.
Security is crucial for any business, and this is especially so in retail. With approximately 274,999 shoplifting reports being made each year within England and Wales, it is important that you find innovative ways to protect your assets. Recent technology can assist in the fight against crime, whether from the general public or your employees.